The University of Iowa

Respirators (Required and Voluntary)

Evaluation Process

Before a respirator can be worn, an exposure evaluation must be conducted. To start the process, complete and return the Request for Chemical Exposure Evaluation to the EHS Industrial Hygienist. From there, the Industrial Hygienist will determine the appropriate next steps to determine if the program is voluntary or required. 

Required Respirators

Respirators are required when: (1) exposure to a chemical is above a published exposure level, (2) a medical professional in the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) says that the respirator is required to protect the employee’s health, or (3) an operating procedure states that it is required. For a required program, the users must pass a medical evaluation, a training class on the respirator, and a fit test (not required for a lose-fitting PAPR). 

Voluntary Use 

Respirators are considered voluntary when exposures are below published exposure levels. Any respirator besides an SCBA can be worn voluntarily.  All users must complete the appropriate training. In addition to training, employees wearing a tight fitting rubber or silicone mask must receive a medical evaluation from UEHC.

Respirator Medical Clearance Process

The respirator fitness questionnaire is now handled through an online system called ReadySet. If you already have ReadySet account with employee health, you will need to contact employee health by email ( or call them (319-356-3631) and let them know you need the respirator medical clearance questionnaire added to your account. Once the questionnaire is complete, contact employee health to let them know it needs to be reviewed and to schedule an appointment.

Contact information and areas of expertise can be found on the Contact Us page.



  • Respirator: Dust Mask - W141OS
  • Respirator: PAPR Hood or Helmet - W139OS
  • Respirator: PAPR Tight Fit Facepiece - W140OS
  • Respirator: Tight Fit Facepiece - W138OS
  • Respirator: Voluntary Use - W050OS

For descriptions of each course including who should take them, see the Safety Training Course Guide.


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