Document Detail

Surgical mask filter and fit performance.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18455048     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Surgical masks have been used since the early 1900s to minimize infection of surgical wounds from wearer-generated bacteria. There is ongoing debate, however, whether surgical masks can meet the expectations of respiratory protection devices. The goal of this study was to evaluate the filter performance and facial fit of a sample of surgical masks. METHODS: Filter penetration was measured for at least 3 replicates of 9 surgical masks using monodisperse latex sphere aerosols (0.895, 2.0, and 3.1 microm) at 6 L/min and 0.075-microm sodium chloride particles at 84 L/min. Facial fit was measured on 20 subjects for the 5 masks with lowest particle penetration, using both qualitative and quantitative fit tests. RESULTS: Masks typically used in dental settings collected particles with significantly lower efficiency than those typically used in hospital settings. All subjects failed the unassisted qualitative fit test on the first exercise (normal breathing). Eighteen subjects failed the assisted qualitative fit tests; 60% failed on the first exercise. Quantitative fit factors ranged from 2.5 to 9.6. CONCLUSION: None of these surgical masks exhibited adequate filter performance and facial fit characteristics to be considered respiratory protection devices.
Tara Oberg; Lisa M Brosseau
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Evaluation Studies; Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of infection control     Volume:  36     ISSN:  1527-3296     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Infect Control     Publication Date:  2008 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-05-05     Completed Date:  2008-06-16     Revised Date:  2009-08-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8004854     Medline TA:  Am J Infect Control     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  276-82     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Equipment Failure*
Equipment Failure Analysis
Infection Control / standards*
Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional / prevention & control
Masks / standards*
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (U.S.) / standards
Particulate Matter
Respiratory Protective Devices / standards*
United States
United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration / standards*
Grant Support
1 T42 OH008434-01/OH/NIOSH CDC HHS
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Particulate Matter
Comment In:
Am J Infect Control. 2009 Apr;37(3):258-9   [PMID:  19328364 ]

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