Effects of mask fitness and worker education on the prevention of occupational dust exposure

Yoko Takemura, Takumi Kishimoto, Tomoko Takigawa, Shinji Kojima, Bing Ling Wang, Noriko Sakano, Da Hong Wang, Jiro Takaki, Tadashi Nishide, Kou Ishikawa, Keiki Ogino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


To decrease the incidence of pneumoconiosis, we examined dust protective mask performance and its relation to pulmonary function as well as the effects of worker education on the proper wearing of masks. One hundred and seventy-eight workers from 15 factories subject to dust exposure participated in this study. All participants were interviewed to obtain relevant personal information and underwent both a mask leakage and a pulmonary function test. The mask leakage was expressed as a percentage, with under 10% leakage indicating that the dust protective mask worked efficiently. In addition, 23 workers from 2 factories were educated on how to wear masks properly. The average mask leakage was 24.3%, and 58% of workers wore ineffective masks. Though pulmonary function was almost normal, the percent vital capacity (%VC) tended to be lower depending on the mask leakage. Mask education, which was very easy and took only a short time, dramatically decreased average mask leakage from 32.1% to 10.5% (p < 0.001). Educating workers to wear masks properly might prevent the worsening of pulmonary function in response to dust exposure. Appropriate mask fitness by education could be useful in preventing the development of pneumoconiosis. Copyright

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalActa medica Okayama
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Education on proper wearing masks
  • Mask leakage
  • Occupational exposure
  • Pneumoconiosis
  • Pulmonary function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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