RESPIRATOR FIT TESTING
There are two types of fit tests for the particulate respirator: qualitative and quantitative.
The qualitative fit test is a pass / fail test method that uses your taste or smell or response to stimuli to detect leaks in the respirator mask. Qualitative fit tests cannot measure actual leakage. Whether the respirator passes the test depends only on whether you detect a leak of the test substance into your mask.
Qualitative fitness tests are commonly used on half-mask respirators-respirators that cover only the nose and mouth. Half-mask respirators can be either filter-type respirators (commonly referred to as "N95") or elastic respirators.
Quantitative fit testing uses a machine to measure the actual amount of leaks into the mask without relying on your taste, smell or irritation to detect leaks. The respirator used in this mating test will have a probe connected to the face, which will be connected to the machine through a hose. OSHA accepts three quantitative fit test methods:
Environmental aerosols; and controlled negative pressure.
Quantitative fit test can be used with any type of tight fit respirator