NC State has developed a Respiratory Protection Program to comply with OSHA Standard 29CFR1910.134, and to coordinate efforts to reduce occupational respiratory exposures and prevent occupational illness. Respiratory protection is necessary whenever a hazardous concentration cannot be reduced below the Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) established by OSHA. (


  • Airborne gases
  • Vapors and particulate hazards
  • Chemical
  • Biological, or inert

General Requirements

  • Requirements of the Respiratory program can be found at Respiratory Protection Program on the EHS website.
  • Departments are responsible for identifying respiratory hazards. Departments must notify EHS of all employees required to wear respiratory protection as part of specific job duties and ensure their enrollment in the Occupational Health Respiratory Protection Program.
  • Respirator users must be enrolled in the Occupational Health Respiratory Protection program and receive Medical Clearance before wearing respiratory protection.  Enrolling in this program is necessary to determine if a person is physically fit to wear certain types of respiratory protection.  Employee in the Respiratory Protection Program receive the following services
  • When an employee chooses to wear respiratory protection for personal comfort, even when not exposed to respiratory hazards, the use of such respirators is considered voluntary. Voluntary use for Filtering facepiece Respiratory (Dust Mask) Employee Attestation Guidance documentation must be completed before use.

Types of Respiratory Protection

  • There are two primary types of respiratory protective devices which are air purifying respirators and air supplied respirators. 


  • EHS provides recommendations for appropriate respiratory protection based on hazard evaluation, monitoring, and anticipated levels of exposure.

Storage and Care

  • Respirators must be used, maintained and stored according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and/or the Respiratory Protection Program requirements.