Document Detail

Estimated workplace protection factors for positive-pressure self-contained breathing apparatus.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8209837     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
An analytical model is presented that estimates the distribution of workplace protection factor (WPF) values for positive-pressure respirators. Input for the model is (1) the instantaneous facepiece pressure measured as a function of time and (2) the distribution of WPF values for a negative-pressure version of the respirator. As an example application, the model was applied to 57 measurements of facepiece pressure made in a previous National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study called "Firesmoke." That study involved professional firefighters wearing positive-pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). During Firesmoke, there were four donnings in which facepiece pressure momentarily went negative one or more times during use. The purpose of the effort described here was to assess the significance of these momentary, negative excursions in facepiece pressure. To that end, an analytical model was developed that estimates the ratio of the mass of contaminant that enters the facepiece during these negative excursions to that which would be expected to enter a negative-pressure respirator utilizing the same facepiece. Thus, the performance of a positive-pressure SCBA can be determined relative to the performance of a negative-pressure respirator with the same facepiece--either a negative-pressure SCBA or a negative pressure air-purifying respirator. The NIOSH-assigned protection factor (APF) for a negative-pressure full facepiece is 50; the APF for a positive-pressure SCBA is 10,000. The results of the application of this analytical model are consistent with the current NIOSH APF for a positive-pressure SCBA.
D L Campbell; G P Noonan; T R Merinar; J A Stobbe
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American Industrial Hygiene Association journal     Volume:  55     ISSN:  0002-8894     ISO Abbreviation:  Am Ind Hyg Assoc J     Publication Date:  1994 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1994-07-13     Completed Date:  1994-07-13     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0371160     Medline TA:  Am Ind Hyg Assoc J     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  322-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505-2888.
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MeSH Terms
Equipment Design
Models, Theoretical*
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (U.S.)
Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
Respiratory Protective Devices* / standards
United States

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