Skip to main content

Logo for N.C. Cooperative Extension N.C. Cooperative Extension Homepage

Respirator Fit Testing

Respirator Fit Testing

The US Environmental Protection Agency requires that all individuals working with pesticides labeled for respiratory protection complete the following prior to respirator use:

1) Medical Clearance

This is to verify that the applicator is in good health and safe to wear a respirator while working. There are two ways to get a medical clearance:

Option A)-Complete an OSHA Questionnaire and have a licensed healthcare professional provide a statement of medical clearance.

Medical Clearance Form (To be completed by your healthcare professional)

OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire (Mandatory) (To be completed by employee/operator)

Guide For Healthcare Professionals Completing Medical Clearance

Option B)-Online options are available at 3M Online Respirator Medical EvaluationsRespirator Assessor, or RespClearance. These options could grant medical clearance immediately or may require a visit to a PLHCP for an in-person evaluation.

2) Fit Test

A respirator fit test must be conducted in compliance with Appendix A of the OSHA Standard 1910.134. The fit test determines if the respirator forms a complete seal with the person’s face. The fit test must be performed with the same make, model, style, and size of the respirator that will be used when handling pesticides.
Our Extension Agent can conduct this fit test by appointment only. Appointments are typically Mondays from 3–4 p.m. To schedule a Respirator Fit Test, fill out the Respirator Fit Test Appointment Form at the bottom of this page.

3) Respirator Training

Employers must provide training, as explained in OSHA Standard 1910.134(k) to ensure a pesticide handler knows how to use a respirator properly. This training must include: how to use the respirator effectively in emergency situations; why the respirator is necessary and how improper fit, use, or maintenance can compromise the protective effect of the respirator; the limits and capabilities of the respirator; how to inspect, put on/remove, and check the seals of the respirator; how to maintain and store the respirator correctly; and how to recognize medical signs and symptoms that may limit or prevent effective use of the respirator.

Training must be provided prior to initial use, unless acceptable training was provided by another employer within the past 12 months. Re-training is required annually and when workplace conditions change, a new type of respirator is used, or when inadequacies in the employee’s use or knowledge indicates need.
This training is also accomplished at the Respirator Fit Testing, if done by our Extension Agent.

Read more and see other opportunities for getting Respirator Fit Tested.