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Qualitative tests rely on a wearer’s subjective assessment of face seal leakage. These methods, during a series of test exercises, use the wearer’s sense of taste to detect face seal leakage of the test agent. Qualitative tests are subject to problems with sensitivity, lack of objectiveness and inability to provide a numerical result. For these reasons, qualitative tests can only be employed for fit testing FFPs (disposable) and half masks.


With 18 years’ experience of respiratory protection equipment, including 14 years of face fit testing within all sectors using Respiratory Protective Equipment, Appropriate RPE Services Ltd are able to come to your location to conduct testing or training to your requirements.

Rest assured that we pride ourselves on added value and a personal support service for managing your respiratory protection needs in compliance with HSE INDG479 Guidance.


Appropriate RPE Services Ltd has extensive industry experience, providing expert service and advice to our customers across Bristol. If you are in need of our professional respirator fitting training and testing service, please contact us.



Quantitative tests can be used to fit test all types of tight-fitting masks including FFPs (disposable), and half and full-face masks. Quantitative tests can give an objective assessment of facial fit and provide a direct numerical result called a Fit Factor. The most widely used quantitative method for RPE fit testing is the Particle Counting method, a title ascribed to the TSI Portacount.

The Portacount measures the number of ambient particles inside and outside a face piece and proves a numerical result which is the ratio of the two over a given test period. For more details on test exercises and pass levels go to the HSE INDG 479 protocol. Testing can be conducting based on a half day’s testing rate (3-10 tests) or full day’s testing rate (10-16 tests). A certificate of the face fit test results is provided for each test.