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Digital 3-D headforms with facial features representative of the current US workforce

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Existing headforms are based on anthropometric data collected over 30 years ago. In 2003, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducted an anthropometric survey of 3997 respirator users, of which 1013 subjects were scanned with a Cyberware 3-D Rapid Digitizer. The objective of this study was to create headforms representative of the current US workforce. Ten facial dimensions relevant to respirator fit were chosen for defining a principal component analysis model, which divides the user population into five face-size categories. Mean facial dimensions were then computed to target the ideal facial dimensions for each size category. Five scans in each category were chosen and averaged to construct a representative headform for each size category. Five digital 3-D headforms were developed: small, medium, large, long/narrow and short/wide. All dimensions are within 3 mm of the computed means for the sample population in each size category. Statement of Relevance: This manuscript describes a new approach to constructing headforms that takes into account the facial form (size and shape) of the US workforce. These headforms could be incorporated into respirator research, certification standards and design in efforts to reduce the risk of injury or illness caused by inhalation hazards.
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Keywords: anthropometrics; facial dimensions; headforms; respirator; sizing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, Pittsburgh, PA, USA 2: EG&G Technical Services Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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