Hantavirus Guide: Six Steps To Properly Fitting Your Respirator

The Centre for Disease Control and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health recommend the use of HEPA (P100) quality filters for respiratory protection against the Hantavirus.

Respirators come in various sizes and it is important to use a respirator that has been fitted to your face.

It is very important that workers are aware of how to achieve the maximum protection afforded by the approved respirator. This protection depends mainly on the seal between the wearer’s face and the respirator face piece. In order to prevent inward leaks of contaminated air, the wearer must be clean-shaven where the face piece contacts the skin of his/her face. Unusual facial contours, scars and other skin conditions, i.e. eyeglasses and missing dentures, may also interfere with the seal.


  1. Cup respirator in either hand with molded nose section away from you and the straps freely draped below your hand.
  2. Position mask on your face. Be certain that the narrow-formed section rests comfortably on the bridge of your nose.
  3. With your other hand, draw the top strap over and position at the crown of your head. Next, draw the bottom strap over your head and position is as show at the base of your head.
  4. Adjust both straps as necessary to achieve a tight comfortable fit.
  5. The respirator should be fit checked prior to entering hazardous environments. Follow the respirator training practices of your company or refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The following are two techniques which can be used to check the fit of your respirator.
  6. You should leave the work area immediately and either reposition or replace the respirator if:

A respirator must be fit tested prior to goggles or glasses being applied to face. An effective seal cannot be achieved with facial hair. Therefore, you must be clean-shaven when using a tight-fitting respirator.

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