Wilson’s Respirator Fit Testing & Medical Clearance Event

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Respirator Fit Testing and Medical Clearance Event

Respirator Fit Testing & Medical Clearance Event

Date:  February 22, 2023
Where:  Wilson County Agricultural Center, 1806 SW Goldsboro St, Wilson, NC
Time:  appointments are available 2 p.m.-8 p.m.

To book an appointment, please call (252) 237-0111 or email jessica_manning@ncsu.edu.

Please fill out this form prior to attending to speed up your appointment.

Thanks to the NC Agromedicine Institute for being involved.

You are encouraged to bring your clean respirator without the cartridges attached and in separate bags.

For those with facial hair, you will need to be clean shaven or the area where respirator fits cleanly.

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 – A medical clearance will determine if you are physically fit to wear a respirator and must be completed by an employee before the fit test (step 2). It is designed to identify general medical conditions that could result in serious medical consequences with the use of a respirator, so honest answers are critical. Each item listed below must be known in order to complete the medical clearance:

  • type and weight of the respirator
  • length of time and frequency of respirator use
  • level of effort that will be involved while wearing the respirator
  • other protective clothing or equipment to be worn during respirator use
  • temperature and humidity extremes at work

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. The employer must ensure that the person conducting the fit test has completed the respiratory protection training outlined in step 3 below. Additionally, for qualitative fit tests, the employer shall ensure that those administering the test are able to prepare test solutions, calibrate equipment and perform tests properly, recognize invalid tests, and ensure that test equipment is in proper working order. OSHA does not offer training or issue a physical card or certificate indicating a person is qualified to conduct this type of test. Although they are not required by OSHA, there are a number of training opportunities to obtain a fit testing certificate. Contact the NC Agromedicine Institute, whose contact information is listed below, for more information on training opportunities. Find a full explanation of OSHA-approved fit testing options.

There are two types of tests, qualitative and quantitative:

  • The qualitative test is pass/fail and relies on the employee’s sense of taste and smell to detect a substance introduced into an enclosure (video example). This type is designed primarily for half-face respirators.
  • The quantitative test uses a machine to measure the actual amount of leakage and does not rely on your senses to detect a leak. This type is designed for any type of tight-fitting respirator and is usually conducted at occupational clinics.

Fit tests must be conducted annually and for each type of respirator you plan to wear, including particulate-filtering face masks (formerly known as dust/mist masks). If any drastic changes in physical appearance occur within the year that cause the seal to become compromised, an additional fit test must be done. Loose-fitting respirators (e.g., helmets, hoods) do not require fit testing but do require medical clearance.

Read more on the Fit Testing Fact Sheet