Respiratory Fit Testing

Respiratory Fit Testing

There are two major categories of fit test: Qualitative (pass/fail basis) and Quantitative (scientific measure basis).


This fit test uses an irritant smoke or odorous material. Testing of this kind is acceptable and limited to checking filtering face pieces and half-mask respirators. The respirator wearer uses their sense of smell to detect leakage. These tests are fast, require no complicated equipment, and are easily performed. The outcome relies on the wearer’s subjective response (pass/fail).


This test is designed for tight fitting full-face masks but can also be used as a highly acute measure for half masks and N95 masks used by medial personnel. Quantitative fit-testing uses highly specialized equipment to measure particles in the atmosphere and inside the mask while the wearer performs tests to ensure a secure seal. Quantitative fit testing is performed using a Portacount machine, as per CSA standard, is the only acceptable method testing for full face masks and is proven to be more accurate than qualitative fit testing ensuring the highest standard of safety.

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