Critical Review of International Standards for Respiratory Protective Equipment — III. Practical Performance Tests

N. White, C. M. Ryan, P. N. Breysse, M. Corn

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This paper, the third in a series of papers devoted to review of international standards for Respiratory Protective Equipment (R.P.E.), summarizes in tabular form, compares, and critically reviews standards of different countries or organizations pertaining to practical performance tests (Man Tests). There are similarities, differences and omissions in the national standards that deserve attention. Of the countries or organizations that require Man Tests on particulate and/or gas and vapor respirators, none described in detail the tests to be performed. For example, CEN requires that Man Tests be conducted on gas/ vapor respirators under realistic conditions to determine imperfections that cannot otherwise be determined by other performance tests, but does not stipulate the testing procedure. With respect to fresh-air hose, compressed-air line and self-contained breathing apparatus R.P.E., only Great Britain and CEN present specific Man-testing requirements in detail. Man Tests for all types of R.P.E. have a specific purpose: to determine any imperfections in, or malfunction of the apparatus under simulated work conditions. One major difference, however, is in the kind of work simulation activities required. In the testing of fresh-air hose and compressed-air line respirators, for instance, CEN describes in great detail, a variety of activities to be conducted. Great Britain merely states that the subjects shall work in practical conditions. Another important disparity relates to the conditions under which the test is to be performed. For example, CEN requires a heavy-duty test and a cooled chamber test, as well as tests under normal and low temperature conditions. Great Britain, on the other hand, requires only the latter two tests. Still other differences lie in the kinds of medical surveillance required during testing and the evaluation criteria used for assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)768-773
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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