The purpose of a fit test is to ensure that the respirator forms an adequate seal with respirator user's face to provide the intended protection. The respirator user must be fit tested for each type of respirator specified by the pesticide product labeling that s/he will be using before using the respirator and every 12 months after that.
The fit test must be conducted using the exact make, model, style and size of respirator that the handler uses. If any of that changes, or a person has a change in weight, dental work, or other change that could affect the fit, that person must be fit tested again.
Protocols for fit testing
Fit testing must follow OSHA protocols. With respirators, one size does not fit all.
Two fit-test methods, Qualitative fit test (QLFT) and Quantitative fit test (QNFT), are available to determine the correct fit for most tight-fitting face pieces.
Respirator fit testing can be obtained from a variety of organizations and companies. The availability of this service is different in each state and region. Examples of resources for respirator fit testing are:
Occupational Health Care providers who provide respirator fit testing for other industries.
AgriSafe Network providers who have received respirator fit testing training.
Pesticide Applicator Trainers may have a list of organizations in your area that provide this service.
3M Representatives in your area may be able to provide this service or provide training on fit testing.
Health care providers in your region may provide this service or know of a local resource.
Perform an online search using "respirator fit testing services." You may find contact information for a business that conducts fit testing in your area.
The person administering this test must be trained to perform the test properly and recognize invalid tests.