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Respiratory Protection
National Summary

This topic covers OSHA’s respiratory protection rules (29 CFR 1910.134).

Occupational diseases can be caused by contaminated air and must be controlled using accepted engineering controls, which include enclosure or confinement of the operation, general and local ventilation, and substitution of less toxic materials. Where controls are not in place or are not feasible, respirators must be used by employees. Workplaces with respirators must establish a written respiratory protection program that includes employee training, medical evaluations, and fit-testing procedures.

For related resources and training materials, refer to the following topics:


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Notices [NIOSH-008 (Powered Air-Purifying Respirators); NIOSH-148 (Air Fed Suits); NIOSH-034 (Open-Circuit, Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, End of Service Life Indicator); NIOSH-0146 (Personal Protective Technology Action Planning)] 11/05/2008National
Directives 07/14/2000 - Respiratory Protection Program Guidelines 07/22/2003National
Directives 07/27/2007 - [CPL 03-00-005] - National Emphasis Program ? Microwave Popcorn Processing Plants 07/27/2007National
Directives 09/25/1998 - Inspection procedures for the Respiratory Protection Standard 07/22/2003National
Directives 10/27/1980 - CPL 2-2.29 - 29 CFR 1910.134(e)(5)- Respirator Fit-Testing 07/16/2003National
Violations 2009 Violation Summary for Respiratory Protection  National
Violations 2011 Violation Summary for Respiratory Protection - General Industry  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1910.139 [This section was removed. See 68 FR 75776, 75780, Dec. 31, 2003.  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1910.134 Respiratory protection  National
Proposed Rules 29 CFR 1910 - Abbreviated Bitrex Qualitative Fit-Testing Protocol 06/25/2009National
Proposed Rules 29 CFR 1910 - Abbreviated Bitrex[supreg] Qualitative Fit-Testing Protocol 12/26/2007National
Proposed Rules 29 CFR 1910 - Additional Quantitative Fit-Testing Protocols for the Respiratory Protection Standard 01/21/2009National
Proposed Rules 29 CFR 1910 - Controlled Negative Pressure REDON Fit Testing Protocol 06/06/2003National
Final Rules 29 CFR 1910 - Controlled Negative Pressure REDON Fit Testing Protocol 08/04/2004National
Proposed Rules 29 CFR 1910 - Occupational Exposure to Tuberculosis; Proposed Rule; Termination of Rulemaking Respiratory Protection for M. Tuberculosis; Final Rule; Revocation 12/31/2003National
Final Rules 29 CFR 1910 - Respiratory Protection for M. Tuberculosis 12/31/2003National
Proposed Rules 29 CFR 1910, 1915, & 1926 - Assigned Protection Factors; Proposed Rule 06/06/2003National
Proposed Rules 29 CFR 1910, 1915, and 1926 - Assigned Protection Factors 09/10/2003National
Proposed Rules 29 CFR 1910, 1915, and 1926 - Assigned Protection Factors 11/12/2003National
Final Rules 29 CFR 1910, 1915, and 1926 - Assigned Protection Factors 08/24/2006National
Regulations 29 CFR Parts 1910 and 1926 - Respiratory Protection; Mechanical Power Presses; Scaffold Specifications; Correction and Technical Amendment  National
Proposed Rules 42 CFR 84 - Public Meeting to Discuss NIOSH's Respirator Standards Development Efforts 10/22/2010National
Interpretations Acceptable use of an electronic medical questionnaire system to comply with 1910.134(e).[1910.134(e); 1910.134App.C] 08/16/2002National
Interpretations Additional Enforcement Policy Change for Respiratory Protection Required for Abrasive Blasting. 03/31/1997National
Questions & Answers After an employee has a preemployment respirator physical what type of annual respirator testing should be conducted on respirator-approved employees? 06/23/2010National
Notices Agency Information Collection Activities: Respiratory Protection Standard 07/25/2011National
Notices Announcement Opportunity for Businesses to Partner with NIOSH on a Research Project to Evaluate the Reusability of Disposable Filtering Facepiece Respirators Used for Protection Against Infectious Aerosols 09/26/2006National
Interpretations Appendix A requirements and techniques for fit testing respirators. 08/27/1999National
Guidance Documents Appendix D to Sec. 1910.134 (Mandatory) Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard  National
Guidance Documents Appendix D to Sec. 1910.134 (Mandatory) Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard (Spanish)  National
Questions & Answers Are there specific requirements for emergency escape respirators? 04/25/2008National
Forms Assigned Protection Factor Table  National
Guidance Documents Assigned Protection Factors  National
Interpretations Beards may not interfere with face seal;alternative respirators for bearded employees.[1910.134; 1910.134(d)(1)(i); 1910.134(g)(1)(i)] 03/07/2003National
Interpretations Belt mounted filtration unit used with any NIOSH approved supplied-air respirator.[1910.134] 09/04/1996National
Training Tips Breathe Easier Knowing Respirator Training Rules  National
Interpretations Breathing air: testing and carbon monoxide alarm.[1910.134(i)] 04/25/1994National
Questions & Answers Can I send my employees to their own doctors for a respiratory physical? 01/26/2010National
Training Activities Carbon Monoxide Safety Activity (Word)  National
Quizzes Caring for Your Respirator (PDF)  National
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