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Things You Need to Know About Fit-Testing!

By treenadmin, 05/18/2018 - 13:41

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What is Fit Testing?

In order to protect the wearer, a respirator must fit properly. A respirator fit test is used to determine the correct size of facepiece for each individual.The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standard Z94.4-11 requires that all fit testing be performed in the negative pressure mode. Masks that are dedicated to a positive pressure respirator, such as a supplied air respirator or self-contained breathing apparatus that are only used in a positive pressure mode, must either be converted to negative pressure masks with the use of adapters, or negative pressure masks with the same sealing surface must be used as a surrogate.

CSA standard Z94.4-11 Section 9.1.7

Tight-fitting respirators shall be tested only in the negative-pressure mode regardless of the mode of operation in which the respirator is to be used. Note: This can be accomplished by temporarily converting the user’s facepiece into negative-pressure mode or by using a surrogate negative-pressure air-purifying respirator with identical sealing surface.

When to do a Fit Test?

  • When there is a change in the respirator such as the make, model or size
  • Before you use your respirator for the first time
  • CSA recommends fit testing is performed at least every 2 years
  • If you experience physical changes, such as weight gain or loss or broken facial bones, that could affect the respirator’s fit

How do you do a fit test?

  • Be clean shaven
  • Put on your respirator as you would for your usual work conditions- for example, your straps should be as tight as they usually are when you are working
  • Wear all the other equipment (such as glasses or goggles, hearing protection, and hard hat) you will have to wear when you are wearing your respirator
  • Perform either a negative or a positive respirator seal check  
  • For Qualitative Fit Testing, the tester will put a test agent that causes a taste, irritation, or smell into the air around the seal on your respirator If Bitrex® or saccharine is used as the challenge agent, the person being fitted is under a hood. If irritant smoke is used, the fit test is performed in a well ventilated area. Note that Bitrex® or saccharine must be used if the respirator is equipped with N or R filters, such as with disposable respirators. To Quantitatively Fit Test subjects, the tester may use a portacount to determine whether there is any leakage between the face seal and the test subject's skin
  • The fit test results should be documented by the employer

Fit Test Adapters for Honeywell Facepieces

The following is a list of current fit test adapters for Honeywell facepieces:

Series or Facepiece Style 

Qualitative Adapter


Quantitative Adapter

All Honeywell air-purifying half masks and full facepieces  

Not required


CF2000 Series Continuous Flow

Not required


RU6500 with CF4000 Series Continuous Flow

Not required


7800 Series

Not required


CF7000 Series Abrasive Blast

Not required


Twenty/ 20 +Facepiece


962900 and 962920

Classic Facepiece


962912 and 962920


Treen Safety conducts qualitative or quantitative fit testing for negative pressure respirators. Please contact us at 604-253-4588 or visit to learn more about Fit Testing or to book an appointment.