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Comparison of Filtration Efficiency and Pressure Drop in Anti-Yellow Sand Masks, Quarantine Masks, Medical Masks, General Masks, and Handkerchiefs

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Volume: 14 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 991-1002
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2013.06.0201
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Hyejung Jung1, Jongbo Kim Kim1, Seungju Lee2, Jinho Lee2, Jooyoun Kim3, Perngjy Tsai4, Chungsik Yoon 1

  • 1 Institute of Health and Environment, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Korea
  • 2 Occupational Health & Environmental Safety Division, APAC laboratory, 3M Korea, 2-5 Seoku-Dong, Hwaseong-Si, Gyeonggi-Do 445-170, Korea
  • 3 Department of Clothing and Textiles, Ewha Womans University, 52 Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-750, Korea
  • 4 Department of Occupational Safety and Health, College of Public Health, China Medial University, 91 Shueh-Shih Road, Taichung 40402, Taiwan


Particulate respirators have been used in both general environments and in the workplace. Despite the existence of certified respirators for workers, no strict regulations exist for masks worldwide. The aims of this study were to evaluate the filter efficiency of various mask types using the Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) [similar to the European Union (EU) protocol] and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) protocol and to compare the test results. We tested a total of 44 mask brands of four types (anti-yellow sand, medical, quarantine, general) and handkerchiefs with a TSI 8130 Automatic Filter Tester. A wide variation of penetration and pressure drops was observed by mask types. The overall mean penetration and pressure drop of all tested masks were respectively 35.6 ± 34.7%, 2.7 ± 1.4 mm H2O with the KFDA protocol, and 35.1 ± 35.7%, 10.6 ± 5.88 mm H2O with the NIOSH protocol. All tested quarantine masks satisfied the KFDA criterion of 6%. Six-ninths and four-sevenths of the anti-yellow sand masks for adults and children satisfied the criterion of 20%, respectively. Medical masks, general masks, and handkerchiefs were found to provide little protection against respiratory aerosols.


Respirator Penetration KFDA NIOSH

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