Respiratory Protection Program details

Detailed information about the Respiratory Protection Program can be found in the Respiratory Protection Manual. Please refer to our course calendar to view upcoming respirator training dates.

The OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard requires medical evaluation, fit testing, and training for individuals who intend to wear respiratory protection. Iowa State University employees required to wear respiratory protection according to their job description or research protocol must participate in the ISU Respiratory Protection Program.

Required training

Continued required use of a respirator will require you to attend a respirator recertification class annually. EH&S will notify program participants of their recertification due date.

If you need help registering for the training, please send a message to


Respirator certification consists of three steps.

  • Review workplace hazards with your supervisor and complete the Hazard Inventory form
  • You will receive an email when your Hazard Inventory has been processed, informing you to call Occupational Medicine at (515) 294-2056 to schedule a medical evaluation. You may not schedule this until the inventory has been processed.
  • Complete the Medical Questionnaire for Respiratory Protective Equipment (PDF). Take the questionnaire with you to your Occupational Medicine evaluation.
  • The Occupational Medicine physician grants approval to wear a respirator.

  • Sign up for a Respirator - Initial Certification class by calling EH&S at (515) 294-5359
  • Respirator – Initial Certification class will include training and individual fit testing.  All respirator models available at Central Stores are available for fitting at EH&S.  At the successful completion of the class, EH&S will issue a Respirator Prescription, listing respirator type, size, and cartridge type.

  • Present the Respirator Prescription and a Central Stores requisition at Central Stores (192 General Services Building) to purchase a respirator.

Information for disposable respirator users

The information below is intended for employees using respirators and meets the requirements outlined in Appendix D of OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.134.  Each employee using a disposable respirator must be given access to the following information.

Disposable respirators are designed to filter particles of non-toxic airborne contaminants at levels below permissible limits. Disposable respirators that are part of job requirements are considered mandatory, and employees must complete a medical review, annual training, and annual fit test to be certified to wear a respirator at Iowa State University. Certification is not required when employees choose to wear dust mask respirators voluntarily. Regardless of the reason for use, all users must read and follow these use, storage, and disposal guidelines.

  1. Read and follow all instructions the manufacturer provides on use, maintenance, cleaning, care, and warnings regarding respirator limitations.
  2. Ensure a good face-to-facepiece seal is achieved before each use. Respirator users must clear hair away from areas where the respirator contacts the face.
  3. Choose respirators certified by NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). A label or statement of certification should appear on the respirator or the packaging.  All respirators available at ISU Central Stores meet this requirement.
  4. Wear respirators only for the atmospheric contaminants they are designed for. DO NOT use them for lead, asbestos, cadmium, gases, vapors, or very small solid particles of fumes or smoke. 
  5. Do not share respirators with other users.
  6. Protect respirators from moisture, dust, or other contaminants by storing them in plastic zip-lock bags or containers that can be sealed.
  7. Ensure that no objects are resting against stored respirators. This could damage the facepiece and result in improper fit when worn
  8. Destroy disposable respirators when discarded. Break straps or tear the filter to make them unusable for anyone else.