Respirator Fit Testing - Non Detection of Bitrix Solution

Updated | Posted
by doc8406 doc8406 (New) New

Hello, I am a Health and Safety Technician working for a production facility and recently started doing Respirator Fit Tests. I've found that generally my employees are not detecting the bitrix solution when spraying into their testing hood prior to masking up. Could anyone share any experiences or advice on either what I'm doing wrong for a person to not detect the spray? Or do I have a LOT of insensitive employees. Thanks in advance.

Just to be clear, Bitrix does not have an odor. Bitrix is a "taste", so they need to breathe with their mouth open, and you need to instruct them to let you know if they taste the bitter. It's pretty bitter, like "ear wax bitter".

Also, there should be testing guidelines that were included with the solution. Another resource is the OSHA website regarding FIT testing guidelines.

Yes, I understand about the taste. Mouth open, tongue slightly extended. I just feel like maybe I'm just not using the nebulizer properly. Will reread that process to check myself.

Constructionohn

Has 26 years experience.

Hi doc8406,

You may want to check out the solution yourself. :spit: Perhaps you have gotten a batch that is too weak for some reason or is too old. It should taste REALLY bitter as WashYouPaws said.

You may also double check to be sure you can see a mist coming from the nebulizer - they plug up very easily if not washed out after each days use. If you see only scant mist or none at all ... clean the tip of the nebulizer with a pin or needle.

Rbeck911, BSN, RN

Specializes in Occupational Health / EMS.

Doc,

I would advise checking with the supplier to see if there are any complaints similar to yours.

In my experience, there are a lot of welders/painters that will try to fool the system in order to get back out on the production floor. We switched to irritant smoke that way they could not try to do this. With irritant smoke, they cough if there is a seal leak. Mind you, this can only be fit tested with p100 respirators and not N95's. It depends on what you use. We are demoing the portacount next week. It has mixed reviews, but the people who love it REALLY love it.

Fit testing is an art. It takes time to master it. If you don't have a good subject, with bitrex, you will never know if there is a good seal or not. And just to drive this home, DON'T fit test anyone with facial hair between the seal. OSHA says no if's, and's, or but's.

Do you think that a registered nurse should be preforming the mask fit testing and not someone who works in housekeeping, security, etc., even though they receive training? Is there other people out there that have had an allergic reaction to the bitrex? I would love to hear from you.

Rbeck911, BSN, RN

Specializes in Occupational Health / EMS.

Wendy50 said:
Do you think that a registered nurse should be preforming the mask fit testing and not someone who works in housekeeping, security, etc., even though they receive training? Is there other people out there that have had an allergic reaction to the bitrex? I would love to hear from you.

I have not heard of allergies to bitrex. Anyone can do the fit testing. I am a nurse and do it. Nurses area good option since we are concerned about long term health and not just making it work however.