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.


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 in Workday Learning. If you need assistance, please contact

Voluntary Dust Mask Use

OSHA considers disposable, filtering facepieces (N95, dust masks) to be respirators and their use is regulated. Employees whose job description requires them to wear respiratory protection must participate in the ISU Respiratory Protection Program. Refer to the ISU Respiratory Protection manual for program details. Employees who voluntarily use these devices for purposes that are not part of job requirements do not need to participate when the following conditions are true:

  • Exposure to airborne contaminants is below OSHA permissible exposure limits (PELs)
  • Exposure is only to non-toxic nuisance materials 
  • Use is not required by a procedure or research protocol
  • Respirators are not worn to reduce exposure to gases or vapors

Voluntary users must follow the use, storage, and disposal guidelines contained on the Information for Disposable Respirator Users web page.

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 Listings.