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Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1991 Sep;52(9):357-62.

Physiologic and subjective effects of respirator mask type.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 90024-1690.


The effect of alternate airflow path designs on full-face mask air-purifying respirators was assessed in 14 healthy volunteers during submaximal exercise. Respirator designs included no respirator (N), full-face mask, dual-cartridge with no nasal deflector (FN), full-face mask respirator with nasal deflector (FD), and a powered air-purifying respirator (PA). Physiologic effects were measured by using respiratory inductive plethysmography and subjective responses by two visual analog scales. There were significant effects of airflow path design upon the physiologic parameters of ventilation, tidal volume, and mean flow rate. There were no significant physiologic or subjective differences between the full-face mask respirators with and without the nasal deflector in place. The PA had less physiologic impact than the nonpowered models but did not show significant subjective benefit. The study suggests that both subjective and objective physiologic responses must be utilized in assessing respirator design.

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