*Fit test those N100ís*
Lessons learned
By: Roadgrime
14 March 2007

So the question is should you be able to smell the banana oil (Iso Amyl Acetate) for fit testing the N100's?
The answer as shown below is No. Rather you need to use Vanilla extract preferably pure extract. I will go on to show how to fit and then test the masks.
My fit test kit arrived for testing gas masks but I wanted to see how the 3M 8233 N100 masks fit. What follows are the pictures showing how we fit and then tested them.
Put the bottom strap over your head

Put the top strap over your head and straighten the straps.

Tighten the bottom strap.

Tighten the top strap.

Run your fingers using both hands along the nose to fit to your nose. To not use one hand too do this as you may pinch the metal strip and cause the fit to be wrong.
Next places your hands over the mask and inhale sharply. You should feel the mask collapse on your face

We then grabbed the test ampule and crush on the red dot between two fingers per the instructions

Then take and slowly work your way around the mask where it meets the face. I expected to not be able to smell it. Both the wife and I could both smell the banana oil through the mask.

A quick hop on the message board with a question returned the answer us. Use Vanilla Extract so into the kitchen we went. I grabbed both the imitation as well as the pure extract. We tried them both but I would recommend using the pure extract since it has a stronger smell. We picked ours up for a dollar at the dollar store. Itís not as good as the stuff I bring back from Mexico but we were out of that.

I then put the vanilla on a cotton ball rather than move the bottle around the mask and risk dumping it.

After re tightening a couple times we were both able to get the masks to fit and not leak. I then tried it on my Ten year old. Needless to say they donít fit since I can put my fingers between the chin and the mask. So I will be ordering some Moldex N100 masks in size small to see if they fit and then the real challenge will be on the 5 Year old.

So to recap Banana oil will not be filtered by the n100 masks. So use vanilla extract instead. The banana oil should still be used for testing NBC masks. Additionally we learned we needed the masks to be tighter in order to seal against our face. So we will need to remember that if we ever need to use them.


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