Fog & Smoke Working Group - Fog Testing Protocols

Below is a grid of fog testing protocols for different types of fogs. The protocols are based on particular measuring instruments, selected by ESTA, but the protocols can be adapted for other meters.

Fog Type Glycol, Glycerin
& Mineral Oil
Dry Ice &
Liquid Carbon Dioxide
Liquid Nitrogen
Element to be Measured Glycol, Glycerin & 
Mineral Oil
Carbon Dioxide Oxygen
Measuring Device MIE PDR-1000AN 
Aerosol Meter
Safegard II 
Personal CO2 Monitor
IST-Aim Series 450 
Personal Oxygen Detector
Instructions for Using Equipment and Calculating Results How to Monitor Glycol Glycerin Mineral Oil (PDF) How to Monitor Carbon Dioxide (PDF) How to Monitor Oxygen (PDF)

It is recommended that testing at the beginning of each production using conditions (equipment, amount of fog used, length of fog cue, performers’ and crew members’ positions relative to the fog equipment, air circulation, room temperature, etc.) as close as possible to those that will exist during performances. Theatres should then monitor fog use to ensure that performance conditions replicate testing conditions. If conditions are consistent, there should not be a need to repeat the test during the production run. Thus, testing can be a one-time cost when a new production loads in, not an additional cost for each performance.

Longer exposures, e.g. work calls that go beyond eight hours during a day or more than 40 hours a week, require an adjustment of the TWA Limit. In the North American entertainment industry there are three different models most often used to arrive at an adjusted TWA Limit for longer exposures. These are usually described as OSHA, Brief and Scala, and a variation on Brief and Scala written into the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation of British Columbia. Information about adjusting TWA limits for long-shifts is available in Adjusting TWAs for Long Shifts (PDF).

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