HEAD OFFICE: 204-258-1500 | COLLECTION DEPOT: 204-697-TEST (8378)


What is respirator fit testing / mask fit testing?

Respirator fit testing / mask fit testing ensures that the use of a respirator or mask meets the individual needs of the person who is using it. Masks are commonly used for protection from respiratory hazards, such as silica and airborne pathogens. There are three basic styles of masks that a worker can be fit tested for: N95 respirator, half-mask respirator or full-mask respirator. Intrinsic Analytics performs fit testing for all three mask styles. There are two different types of mask fit testing methods, qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative mask fit testing is generally unreliable due to a number of subjective factors; it does not ensure proper protection. Quantitative mask fit testing relies on particle analysis to ensure mask integrity and performance. Intrinsic Analytics only offers quantitative mask fit testing.


How is the mask fit test conducted?

At Intrinsic Analytics our mask fit program ensures that your workers can be confident in the mask they are using. First, we ensure that the worker is able to demonstrate proper donn and doff techniques. Second, we confirm that their mask fit maintains the integrity for which the mask was designed. Third, we educate the worker on the importance of maintaining mask integrity in various environments that they may experience. Finally, we ensure that they understand what conditions may warrant re-testing.


What makes Intrinsic Analytics a leader in mask fit testing?

Many industrial companies and healthcare professionals have come to depend on Intrinsic Analytics for properly fitting their employees and students with respirators. Intrinsic Analytics uses the PortaCount® Plus Respirator Fit Tester with the N95-Companion™ system for quantitative mask fitting. We take real-time particle measurements both inside and outside of the mask while the user is wearing it and performs a series of exercises that are designed to mimic similar movements made in a real work environment. Quantitative mask fit testing is the only method that should be considered when trying to ensure that mask integrity is being properly maintained. Our technicians perform quantitative mask fit testing which meets the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) (CAN/CSA-Z94.4-02) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (29 CFR 1910.134 and 29 CFR 1926.103) guidelines for testing.

In many workplaces a respirator and a proper respirator fit test are only components of an employee’s respiratory protection program. For example, workers that may be exposed to asbestos are enrolled in Intrinsic Analytics’ Fibrogenic Dust Monitoring Program. Our program also includes Surveillance, Spirometry, and Chest X-Rays after various levels of exposure. In addition, we often provide guidance to companies on the governmental reporting requirements that accompany such testing.


Who needs to be tested?

There are several regulations describing the appropriate use of respirators. The Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulations specify that qualified employees must wear National Institute for Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved respirators in accordance with CSA guidelines. Health surveillance is required prior to first use of a respirator or mask, followed by ongoing periodic monitoring which is recommended annually but required at least bi-annually.


Intrinsic Analytics is Manitoba's premier bioinformation services company. We provide personalized and customizable bioinformation and biochemical analysis for individuals, commercial enterprises and government agencies. We offer two main platforms, occupational health and personal health. In addition, we engage in health research aimed at developing new health related assays.


Head Office
3rd Floor – Asper Institute, 369 Taché Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R2H 2A6 Canada
Head Office: 204.258.1500
Collection Site
2535 Inkster Blvd., Box 104, Group 200, RR2
Winnipeg, MB R3C 2E6 Canada
Collection Site: 204.697.8378

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