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The Importance of N95 and KN95 Respirator Fit Testing

Fit testing is a new thing to a lot of people nowadays, so we will try to explain exactly how and why it is done. 

First, Air Extreme exclusively does Quantitative Fit Testing.  This means that how well your respirator fits is measured by a machine.  We do not advocate Qualitative Fit Testing, as it is entirely subjective and many people have a hard time knowing if the respirator actually fits the way it should.  

Second, you’ll need to complete a health screening form to ensure you are physically fit to wear and use a respirator.  You should also be clean shaven in the areas where the respirator touches your face.

Air Extreme uses the Portacount Fit Testing Machine for N95 and KN95 respirators, which measures the microscopic particles inside and outside the respirator to make sure it fits correctly.  The tester will confirm that your respirator is clean, is comfortable, is sealing properly and that you know how to use and fit check the seal on your respirator.  Next you will go through a series of exercises that replicate anything you would do while wearing your respirator.  These include; normal breathing, deep breathing, nodding your head up and down and side to side, talking out loud, bending at the waist, and then normal breathing to conclude the test.  The machine will determine a pass or fail depending on the results during the exercises. 

Please note the make, model and size of the respirator you were tested in.  This is the ONLY mask you are cleared to wear.  You may not get a fit test and assume that all medium masks will fit you.  You MUST be fit tested on each make and model to determine the correct size.

Finally, we at Air Extreme know how frustrating it is to not pass a fit test. The masks available at the moment are difficult to fit.  There are solutions out there, please give us a call for more information.  

 



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