Qualitative Respirator Fit Testing

OSHA requires you to ensure that all of your employees who use tight-fitting respirators (including filtering face pieces like N95) be fit tested prior to initial use, whenever a different respirator facepiece (size, style, model or make) is used, and at least annually thereafter.

Qualitative fit tests (QLFT) rely on your response to test agents such as saccharin, bitrex, irritant smoke or banana oil.  A QLFT, according to 29 CFR 1910.134(f)(6), must only be used to fit test negative pressure air-purifying respirators which are half mask respirators or below.

Although Qualitative fit tests are acceptable for half mask respirators we recommend using the more reliable Quantitative Fit Test Method

Example of Qualitative Fit Testing

Request Onsite Fit TestingThis will be completed at our office

Safety Links offers complete fit testing services.  Our specially trained and qualified fit test staff ensures that the fit testing meets the requirements of all regulatory agencies and produces safe, reliable results.  Our staff is also qualified to provide the required orientation instruction/training, or the more comprehensive user respirator training.

We can perform Fit Testing at your site or at our Orlando Florida office for individuals or groups

We provide Qualitative Respirator Fit Tests for individuals every Monday from 8am-3pm at our Longwood location. We can also accommodate groups, call us at 407-545-4699 to make an appointment.

  • q-iconWhat is the difference between Qualitative and Quantitative?

    Qualitative fit test (QLFT) means a pass/fail fit test to assess the adequacy of respirator fit that relies on the individual’s response to the test agent. (We typically use Bitter or Sweet agents but we also have irritant smoke if requested) Quantitative fit test (QNFT) means an assessment of the adequacy of respirator fit by numerically measuring the amount of leakage into the respirator. We use the TSI Portacount which is the gold standard in the industry.

  • q-iconWhat type of fit test is better?

    The quantitative fit test is the best. If possible we will always fit test you using the quantitative method. The only times this is not possible is when you are using a filtering facepiece or a model of respirator which we do not have a Portacount Adapter for.

  • q-iconWho supplies the respirator?

    You must be fit tested on the respirator (Same make, model, size) that you use. For that reason it works best if you bring your own in.

  • q-iconWhat types of filters do I need for the fit test?

    For Qualitative Fit Tests (using the hood and a fit test agent) any filter will work including a N-95 Particulate Filter.

    For Quantitative Fit Tests (Using the Portacount) you must use a P100 Particulate Filter. P100 filters are always magenta in color.

  • q-iconWhen is Quantitative Respirator Fit Testing Required?

    A QNFT is necessary for respirators that must achieve a fit factor of greater than 100. This includes a full face respirator, or an atmosphere-supplying respirator.

    Ref: 1910.134(f)(6). QLFT may only be used to fit test negative pressure air-purifying respirators that must achieve a fit factor of 100 or less.

    Ref: 1910.134(f)(7) If the fit factor, as determined through an OSHA-accepted QNFT protocol, is equal to or greater than 100 for tight-fitting half facepieces, or equal to or greater than 500 for tight-fitting full facepieces, the QNFT has been passed with that respirator.

  • q-iconWill you help us choose a respirator?

    Simple answer yes/no.

    We are a full service Safety Consulting company and have industrial hygienists on staff so we can help you select respirators if needed. With that said we will not select a respirator as part of a fit test. Proper respirator selection requires careful evaluation and testing which cannot be done during a fit test

  • q-iconDo you sell respirators?

    We have the following respirators in stock and available for purchase.

    3M 8210- Filtering facepiece (N-95)

    3M 8215- Filtering facepiece (N-95)

    3M 1860- Filtering facepiece Surgical Mask (N-95)

    Moldex 4200 Filtering facepiece (N-95)

    3M 7501 (Small) Elastomeric Half Mask Respirator

    3M 7502 (Medium) Elastomeric Half Mask Respirator

    3M 7503 (Large) Elastomeric Half Mask Respirator

  • q-iconWhat type of documentation do I get when I am done?

    After the fit test you get a carbon copy form detailing your information, the model and size of your respirator and the overall results which is good for 1 year.

  • q-iconCan you help with Medical Clearance before the fit test?

    OSHA requires you to “provide a medical evaluation to determine the employee’s ability to use a respirator, before the employee is fit tested or required to use the respirator in the workplace”. During a fit test we do not check that you are medically qualified. If you need qualification click here for more information

  • q-iconDoes the fit test include user training?

    No the fit test is just the fit test. You users should already know how to use their respirator including how to inspect it, don it, and doff it. If you need respirator training click here for more information.

  • q-iconWill I pass

    There is no guarantee of passing. The purpose of the fit test is to ensure proper fit. Sometimes certain respirators simply don’t fit certain people. With that said the large majority of tests we do pass on the first attempt.

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