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Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1990 Aug;51(8):420-6.

Collection of silica and asbestos aerosols by respirators at steady and cyclic flow.

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Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Science and Physiology, Boston, MA 02115.


Air purifying dust/mist respirators are presently tested using a silica aerosol under conditions of steady flow. In experiments, the predictive validity of such tests was evaluated by testing respirators using silica and asbestos aerosols under conditions of both steady and cyclic flow. Silica penetration at steady flow was reasonably predictive of silica penetration under cyclic flow. However, asbestos penetration under cyclic flow was not predicted well by penetration of either silica or asbestos at steady flow. Furthermore, the potential for exhalation valve failure under cyclic flow was identified. Current NIOSH protocols for evaluating respirator performance should be reconsidered in light of these findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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