Physiological response to “pressure-demand” respirator wear

Peter B. Raven, Ovule Bradley, Debbie Rohm-Young, F. Leland McClure, Barbara Skaggs

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Thirty-seven male and female volunteers, twenty-two normal and fifteen moderately impaired with respect to lung function were submaximally exercised with and without a “pressure-demand” type air-line respirator. The respirator was equipped with an inspiratory reststance of 85 mmH20 at 85 L/ min air flow and expiratory resistance of 25 mmH20 at 85 L/ min air flow over and above the inhalation and exhalation “pressure-demand” resistance of 25 mmH20. Comparisons between normals and moderately impaired at submaximal workloads of 35%, 50%, and 80% of maximal capacity (VO2max) exhibited no difference in response, even though the impaired subjects were utilizing a greater percentage of their pulmonary reserves at 80% VO2max. However, the pressure swings across the facepiece were 22-25 cmH20 at 80% VO2 max as a result of inordinately high impaired pressures and may have been the primary cause that 50% of both groups of subjects were unable to complete the 80% VO2max workload. Also, it was noted that the greater the ventilatory demand imposed by the high workloads the more like a “demand” type respirator the “pressure-demand” system became, regardless of an individual's lung function. Hence, it was concluded that the ventilatory stresses of high workloads emphasized the inadequacy of current pressure-demand designs and placed significant psychophysiological stress on the wearer. Further to the current work a need for determining the relationship between MVV.25 and VO2maxwith and without respirator wear was identified.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)773-781
    Number of pages9
    JournalAmerican Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - Oct 1 1982

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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