Respiratory Protection & Fit Testing

Respiratory safety training and fit testing is intended for McGill staff and students who require respiratory protection while performing activities connected to McGill University. Although the elimination or reduction of respiratory hazards through substitution or engineering controls is preferred, there may be instances in which the use of a respirator is required.

As of September 2018, EHS will provide respiratory protection training and fit testing for both reusable half/full-face and N95 respirators.

Students should first contact Student Health Services for an appointment for N95 fit testing, as they offer this service for students at no charge.

The cost for fit testing is:

Note that this fee does not cover the purchase of a personal respirator.

What is Fit Testing?

In order to protect the user from respiratory hazards, a respirator must fit the user's face and form a tight seal. The purpose of a fit test is to verify an effective seal with the respirator and the user's face.

Qualitative fit testing relies on the user to detect taste and smell to measure the leakage into a respirator and Quantitative fit testing uses a machine to measure the leakage into a respirator.

Fit testing is done after respiratory safety training is completed and also verifies that the user is able to demonstrate the required level of competency in how to inspect the respirator prior to use, don the respirator, perform a user seal check, and doff the respirator.

The Fit Test Process

  • Prior to fit testing, the user must complete the PDF icon Health Validation form. Note that if ‘Yes’ is answered to any of the questions in Section 2, then the user must have Section 3 completed by a physician.
  • Respiratory protection training and the quiz must be completed prior to the fit test appointment.
  • A fit test shall be done before the initial use of a respirator, and then repeated every 2 years. If the user undergoes a change that may affect the fit of the respirator (ex. weight loss/gain, dental changes, cosmetic surgery, etc.) then EHS should be advised and fit testing should be repeated.
  • After the fit test, those using a reusable half/full-face respirator need to complete the PDF icon Monthly Inspection form for Air Purifying Respirator (APR) masks

 

The day of the fit test:

In order to ensure a proper seal with the respirator, the user must be clean shaven and long hair must be tied back. Facial piercings and jewelry may also need to be removed.

If you are currently using a reusable half/full-face respirator, please bring it with you to the appointment, along with any PPE that you will use (safety glasses, hardhat, hearing protection, etc).

In addition, for qualitative fit testing for N95 respirators, please do not eat, chew gum or drink anything (other than water) 30 minutes prior to your fit test appointment.

How to Register for a Fit Test

Quantitative Fit Testing

Quantitative fit testing uses a machine to measure the leakage into a respirator.

Please complete the Quantitative Fit Test registration form.

Note that typically, EHS has 3M respirators available for fit testing. If you have a different make, it may not be possible to have your respirator fit-tested.

 

Qualitative Fit Testing

Qualitative fit testing relies on the user to detect taste and smell to measure the leakage into a respirator.

Quantitative fit testing EHS' preferred method of ensuring that a tight-fitting respirator can be worn by a user without having any leaks. However, qualitative fit testing may be done for those who will wear an N95 respirator.

Please do not eat, chew gum or drink anything (other than water) 30 minutes prior to your fit test appointment.

Note that EHS has the following N95 respirators available for fit testing: Moldex 1500 series, 3M 1860, 3M 1860 and 3M 1870+.