Qualitative and Quantitative Fit Testing
There are two Fit Testing methods, these are known as: Quantitative andQualitative tests. RPA can provide both Qualitative and Quantitative tests, on-site throughout the UK.
Fit Testing – Quantitative Tests
Quantitative tests can be used to fit test all types of tight-fitting masks including disposable, half and full face masks. Quantitative tests give an objective assessment of facial fit and provide a direct numerical result called a Fit Factor.
The most widely-used quantitative method for RPE fit testing is the Particle Counting Device method, a title ascribed to the TSI Portacount Plus. The Portacount Plus measures the number of ambient particles inside and outside a facepiece and provides a numerical result which is the ratio of the two over a given test period.
As in all other methods, the wearer should perform a series of exercises during the fit testing procedure (see HSE 282/28 Protocols for more details on test exercises and pass levels)
Fit Testing – Qualitative Tests
Qualitative tests rely on the wearer’s subjective assessment of faceseal leakage. These methods, during a set of test exercises, use the wearer’s sense of smell or taste to detect faceseal leakage of a test agent.Qualitative tests are subject to problems with sensitivity, lack of objectiveness and inability to provide a numerical result. For these reasonsQualitative tests can only be employed for fit testing of filtering facepieces (disposable masks) and half masks, not full face masks.