new respirator guide

Under the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) as revised in 2015, there are new requirements for pesticide handlers when pesticide labels require the use of a respirator.

Before pesticide handlers can use a respirator, they must receive:

  1. A medical evaluation by a physician or other licensed health care professional,
  2. Fit-testing with a taste/smell/irritating indicator, or with quantitative measurements, and
  3. Training about the use, care, and maintenance of the respirator.

This new guide from PERC includes:

  • Guidance on selecting respirators based on new/old label language
  • Medical evaluation options
  • Step-by-step respirator fit-testing procedures
  • Respirator cleaning/maintenance guidance
  • Frequently-asked questions such as, "Can I perform my own fit-test?" and "Are web-based medical evaluations allowed?"

Purchase printed copies of the guide from NPSEC

If you would like to print or download the guide, click here for a high quality version (48 pp, 3.5MB).

This publication is also available in Spanish. For a high quality print version (48 pp, 3.5MB) click here.


Many thanks to the English and Spanish development teams!

Primary Authors:
Kathleen Kincade, MSPH, Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Garnet Cooke, Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Kaci Buhl, Oregon State University

Janet Fults, Consultant

Manual Production/Layout:
Cameron Hughes, Oregon State University
Sean Ross, Oregon State University

PERC Advisory Board Content Reviewers:
Betsy Buffington, Iowa State University
Dean Herzfeld, University of Minnesota
Juan Concha, the Farmworker Association of Florida

U.S. EPA Content Reviewers:
Nancy, Fitz, U.S. EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs
Richard Pont, U.S. EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs
Carol Galloway, U.S. EPA, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance

The CauseWay Agency

Translation Reviewers:
Carmina Hanson, North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Jennifer Weber, Arizona Department of Agriculture

This version was revised in October 2017. Click here for a summary of changes.