Qualitative Fit Testing can be used on what is defined as tight-fitting respirators, with the exception of full-face masks. Full face masks cannot be tested because the test hood is not large enough for the mask fitted with a filter. For testing this product it will be necessary to use the Quantitative method. Qualitative Fit Testing can be used not only as a test method to ensure your employees are properly protected; but also as a very effective way of training them in the correct way of fitting a mask. Dust and half masks commonly fail to do the job they are intended to do because of poor fitting and care by the user.
The seal between the face and the edge of the mask is the most common problem area. You will also see users using a mask after having kept it on their heads or hanging around the neck. The test employs a hood to create a small test chamber around the user's head and a test solution. This test solution has a bitter taste. It is the same type of solution that is put on children's toys and fingernails to stop them from chewing them. As the test uses these two consumable parts and is designed to be carried out by the employer; it is a very cost-effective solution for assessing the ability of the selected Respiratory Protective Equipment and the training given to protect the employee.