Background: A concern with reuse of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-certified N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) is that multiple donnings could stress FFR components, impairing fit. This study investigated the impact of multiple donnings on the facepiece fit of 6 N95 FFR models using a group of 10 experienced test subjects per model.
Methods: The TSI PORTACOUNT Plus and N95 Companion accessory were used for all tests. After qualifying by passing a standard Occupational Safety and Health Administration fit test, subjects performed up to 20 consecutive tests on an individual FFR sample using a modified protocol. Regression analyses were performed for the percentage of donnings resulting in fit factors (FFs) ≥100 for all 6 FFR models combined.
Results: Regression analyses showed statistical significance for donning groups 1-10, 1-15, and 1-20. The mean percentage of donnings with an FF ≥100 was 81%-93% for donning group 1-5, but dropped to 53%-75% for donning group 16-20.
Conclusions: Our results show that multiple donnings had a model-dependent impact on fit for the 6 N95 models evaluated. The data suggest that 5 consecutive donnings can be performed before FFs consistently drop below 100.
Published by Mosby, Inc.