A comparative study of challenge aerosols was conducted to review a performance test for dust respirators. The national approval test for dust respirator certification in Japan requires that air containing quartz particles of smaller than 2 microns in diameter should be used as the test aerosol. Aerosols with broad size distributions may therefore be used as the test aerosols. In view of the international harmonization of respirator certification standards, it is necessary to use alternative test aerosols for the approval test for dust respirators. The present study was undertaken to measure the collection efficiency of filters by using three kinds of test aerosols, i.e., quartz dust, sodium chloride and dioctyl sebacate mist aerosols. We used the cartridges of dust respirators and filtering facepieces from eight Japanese and foreign manufacturers, all of which have been certified by the national approval test. Good correlation among the measured collection efficiencies was found for the three test aerosols, but penetrations with sodium chloride and dioctyl sebacate mist aerosols were more than 10 times those of quartz dust aerosol.