Fit Testing

Woman wearing N95 mask JPEG

A fit test tests the seal a respirator’s face piece makes on your face. This test takes 15-20 minutes and should be performed annually.

SCAN1007_001 cwThere are two types of fit tests: qualitative and quantitative. However, EPR staff only conduct quantitative fit testing at this time. More information about the tests is located online through the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

Qualitative fit testing is a pass/fail test that uses your taste or smell reaction to an irritant to test leakage into a face piece.

Quantitative fit testing uses a PortaCount machine to measure the actual amount of particulate leakage into the face piece, and does not rely on an individual’s sense of taste, smell or irritation.

Not everyone can get a good fit with one specific respirator. Upon completing the fit testing, each individual will need to know which make, model, style and size respirator works best with their face. These factors could change due to a variety of conditions:

  • Large weight gain/loss;
  • Major dental work;
  • Facial surgery;
  • Significant scarring in the area of the seal.

Facial hair such as a beard or mustache likely will affect your respirator’s ability to protect you. Anything that serves as a barrier between your face and a respirator’s seal, or gets into the respirator’s valves, can allow contaminated air to leak into the respirator face piece.

Additional Resources

Fit Testing Check Out Form

How to Wear a Respirator Handout

OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire

Respiratory Protection Program Example from SW Region

Respiratory Protection Program Example from SE Region

  1. Crystalynn Kuntz

    Emergency Preparedness Regional Coordinator
    Phone: 701-355-1540

  2. Kalen Ost

    Emergency Preparedness Information Specialist
    Phone: 701-355-1556

  3. Public Health


    Physical Address
    500 E. Front Ave.
    Bismarck, ND 58504


    Directions

    Mailing Address
    P.O. Box 5503
    Bismarck, ND 58504

    Phone: 701-355-1540
    Fax: 701-221-6883