Facial anthropometric dimensions of Koreans and their associations with fit of quarter-mask respirators

Ind Health. 2003 Jan;41(1):8-18. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.41.8.


Past studies on respirator fit or performance have mostly been done for Whites or male subjects, and little attention has been paid to minorities and Asians. To fill this gap, this study was designed to provide facial anthropometric data for Koreans and to analyze the association between facial dimensions and respirator fit factors for three brands of quarter-mask respirators, two domestic and one imported brand, using a Portacount 8020. A total of 110 university student subjects, 70 males and 40 females volunteered for participation in the study. The results of this study showed that Korean males and females have different facial dimensions as compared with those of White males and females. Unexpectedly, the imported respirator performed better than the domestic respirators. Males were found to achieve better respirator fit than females regardless of respirator brands tested. The regression analysis found no common prognostic variables with the three respirator brands studied. A stepwise logistic regression analysis was conducted to find predictive facial dimensions with respirator fits. Some facial dimensions were found to be statistically significant, but these dimensions are different from the traditionally recommended facial dimensions of face length and lip width for quarter mask. To improve respirator fit for Koreans, these different facial characteristics need to be considered in the design of quarter mask respirators.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry*
  • Data Collection
  • Equipment Design
  • Ethnicity / genetics
  • Face / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiratory Protective Devices*