Laboratory Performance Testing of Powered Air Purifying Respirators


  1. Harrison, B.
  2. Harrison, C.
  3. Liang, S.
  4. Smith, S.
  5. Croll, L.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN);Royal Military Coll of Canada, Kingston ONT (CAN)
Laboratory performance testing has been conducted on two powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) systems using the TSI PortaCount Plus Model 8020. The two PAPR systems evaluated were: the 3M BE-10 blower system connected to a PC4 respirator and a Carlton blower connected to a PC4 respirator. Initial study revealed some unusual protection factor results depending on whether the blower motors were turned on or off. In an attempt to explain these unusual effects, the aerosols generated by the blower motors themselves were measured. It was found that the amount of aerosol generated by the motors was significant, and was higher when the Carlton blower system was used. Although the amount of aerosol generated by the 3M BE-10 system was quite low, it was large enough to affect the results and was comparable to the amount of subject-generated aerosol measured previously in this laboratory. Inserting these numbers of blower-generated aerosol into the model that was proposed for “modeled respirator protection factor” (Harrison & Liang, 2005), the observed protection factor data were readily explained. Precautions therefore need to be taken when measuring protection factors of powered PAPR systems with a PortaCount.
performance test;TSI PortaCount;powered air purifying respirator;PAPR;blower generated aerosol;protection factor
Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-SL-2007-171 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
10 Oct 2007
Number of Pages
Translation of
Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection, vol 24, 2007, p 42-48
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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