Get the Right Fit

February 23, 2018


Respirators perform the important task of protecting workers from dangerous hazards and pollutants such as dust, gases, vapours, smoke and sprays. When improperly fitted, even the best manufactured and designed respirators leave workers vulnerable to these airborne particles which can be harmful to their health.


Fit testing should occur before the respirator is issued, if the wearer has experienced a significant change in weight, had major dental work, in any instance where a different model or size is required and during routine health surveillance checks.



It is imperative that the user is clean shaven when wearing a tight-fitting respirator as it needs to seal tightly to the face. Even just a day’s worth of stubble growth can be enough to cause a significant leak that reduces protection and grows the path for contaminants to leak through. Any hair that can prohibit this seal should be removed – including moustaches and long sideburns.

One of the best ways to ensure that a respirator is a good fit for the wearer is to perform a qualitative fit test. 3M’s Qualitative Fit Test Apparatus Kit – Bitter (Bitrex) offers a fast and easy to use method to test negative pressure respirators.


The kit includes:

- Hood and collar assembly

- Two nebulisers

- FT-10 Sweet (Saccharin) solution

- FT-30 Bitter (Bitrex) solution

- Detailed instructions

- Product Number: 70070709640



The test works by the individual donning the hood and collar assembly and spraying either a bitter or sweet solution into the environment. The level of the solution is maintained throughout the test while the individual performs a series of exercises including head movements, breathing and talking. If at the end of the test the wearer has not tasted the solution, then an acceptable fit has been confirmed.



3M can assist in Fit Testing if required. Contact your local ATOM branch or sales representative for more information.


Watch this video below to see the Aura 9300+ in action!




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