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

Due to COVID-19 the Respirator classes are cancelled, get more details


Respirator certification consists of three steps:

1. Medical Evaluation

  • Review workplace hazards with your supervisor and complete the Hazard Inventory form
  • You will receive an email when your Hazard Inventory has been processed letting you know 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.
  • Approval to wear a respirator is granted by the Occupational Medicine physician.

2. Training and Fit Testing

  • 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.

3. Purchase Your Respirator

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

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

Voluntary Dust Mask Use

Employees who use dust mask respirators (N95) for "non-required" or "nuisance" purposes are considered voluntary users and are not required to participate in the Respiratory Protection Program. Voluntary dust mask use requires ALL of the following conditions to be true:

  • Exposure to airborne contaminants is below OSHA permissible exposure limits (PELs).
  • Exposure is only to non-toxic nuisance materials (plant dust, agar dust).
  • There is no exposure to airborne infectious disease agents.
  • Dust masks are not worn to reduce exposure to gases or vapors.

Dust mask users must read "Information for Dust Mask Respirator Users". This document is also distributed at Central Stores when dust masks are purchased. Voluntary users are still required to follow mandatory use, storage and disposal guidelines.

Detailed information about the Respiratory Protection Program can be found in the ISU Respiratory Protection Manual. To view upcoming respirator training dates, please refer to the EH&S Classroom Course Listing.


Respirator Protection Program