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Respirator Fit Testing Services

Regulatory Compliance

Under OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.134, fit testing is required to be provided to the employee and the test must be administered with the same make, model, style, and size of respirator that will be used during the employee's work activities. If the employee may wear multiple respirators, then a fit test must be completed for each respirator type. This test must be completed prior to initial use of the respirator(s) and annually thereafter. Additional fit tests may be required whenever the employee reports, or the employer, Primary Licensed Healthcare Provider (PLHCP), supervisor, or respiratory program administrator makes visual observations of, changes in the employee's physical condition that could affect respirator fit. Such conditions include, but are not limited too: facial scarring, dental changes, cosmetic surgery, or an obvious change in body weight.


Qualitative fit test (QLFT) may only be used to fit-test:

  • Negative-pressure, air-purifying respirators, as long as they’ll only be used in atmospheres where the hazard is at less than 10 times the permissible exposure limit (PEL).

  • Tight fitting facepieces used with powered and atmosphere-supplying


QLFT is pass/fail and relies on the user’s senses using one of four OSHA-accepted
test agents:

  • Isoamyl acetate (banana smell); only for testing respirators with organic vapor

  • Saccharin (sweet taste); can test respirators with a particulate filter of any class.

  • Bitrex® (bitter taste); can also test respirators with particulate filters of any class.

  • Irritant smoke (involuntary cough reflex); only for testing respirators with level 100 particulate filters.


Each QLFT method uses seven exercises performed for 1 minute each: Normal breathing; Deep breathing; Moving head side to side; Moving head up and down; Bending over (or jogging in place if fit test unit doesn’t permit bending at the waist); Talking; Normal breathing again.

Services Available

Safety University offers an affordable and highly customizable onsite QLFT respirator fit testing services designed to help organizations both large and small meet their compliance needs.

Respirator fit test prepared for COVID-19. Asia doctor testing repiratory system with N-95
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