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Ergonomic and Olfactometric Assessment of Anti-Odour Filtering Half-Masks under Real-Life Workplace Conditions

Research and development

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Nr DOI: 10.5604/01.3001.0014.9311

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Abstract:

The presence of vapours and gases of chemical compounds in the atmospheric air contributes to mental discomfort as well as irritation of the respiratory tract and eyes. The technical solutions applied, such as collective protection measures, namely the encapsulation of processes or local ventilation equipped with appropriate air filters, are often insufficient. In such a case, respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is the basic and, in many cases, the only technical means that protects humans against the harmful effects of this type of harmful substance. The study evaluated the ergonomic and anti-odour properties of a novel filtering half-mask model with an oxygen indicator in functional workplace tests. In addition, the subjective anti-odour assessment results from functional tests were statistically compared with the results of olfactometric tests. The differences identified are attributable to the fact that the olfactometric method excludes subjects with olfactory impairments. Moreover, statistical analysis indicated significant differences in anti-odour properties between a reference half-mask and the filtering half-mask model with a nonwoven adsorbent layer (91% odour reduction). The filtering half-mask developed was found to provide high and very high levels of user comfort and exhibited excellent protective and functional properties, with a filtration performance of 96% and breathing resistance of 147 Pa. Those parameters qualify the filtering half-mask presented for protection class FFP2. In addition, the half-mask effectively absorbed the vapours of malodorous substances up to 3 h and displayed oxygen concentration in the breathing zone. It should be noted that currently no such device is commercially available either in Poland or in the European Union.

Tags:

anti-odour half-mask; olfactometry; respiratory protective devices; degree of odour reduction; ergonomics.

Citation:

Brochocka A, Nowak A, Okrasa M. Ergonomic and Olfactometric Assessment of Anti-Odour Filtering Half-Masks under Real-Life Workplace Conditions. FIBRES & TEXTILES in Eastern Europe  2021; 29, 5(149): 91-99. DOI: 10.5604/01.3001.0014.9311

Published in issue no 5 (149) / 2021, pages 91–99.

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