How do I wear a mask properly?
To ensure that you are using your respirator correctly and are fully protected, it is essential to consider the following points:
- First, read the operating manual and follow the instructions.
- Familiarise yourself with the product.
- Shave daily, as an optimal sealed fit is best achieved on a cleanly-shaven face.
- Check that you are using the correct mask size for your face shape and size.
- Take care to fit and adjust your mask according to the operating instructions, in particular the head straps and nose clip.
A fit test procedure has been implemented to ensure that masks fit securely.
The fit test determines whether a mask is the right size and model. In order to establish whether a sealed fit has been achieved, there are two tests: one qualitative (subjective), and one quantitative (objective). The wearer is required to put on the respective mask model for both.
The qualitative test judges the mask’s suitability based on the wearer’s ability to perceive a test substance. A hood is placed over the wearer’s head, into which the test substance is then sprayed. The mask is deemed to have a sealed fit if the wearer is unable to perceive the presence of the test substance while wearing the mask. As the result is based on the wearer’s perception, this is a subjective testing method.
The quantitative fit test measures the particle concentration inside the mask and in the ambient air. To achieve this, a tube is inserted inside the mask. The difference in the number of particles recorded internally and externally can then be used as an objective means of determining whether the respirator mask fits securely or not. The measured seal value is known as the fit factor. Half masks should achieve a minimum value of 100 in this test.