Respiratory Protection

Updated February 9, 2024

Obtaining a Respirator

Summary: The UCI Respiratory Protection Program provides a system for complying with the requirements of the applicable regulatory standards.

The program defines the procedures for:

  • Selecting respirators (which includes performance of a respiratory hazard evaluation),
  • Medical evaluations,
  • UCI respirator user training in
    • respiratory hazards and proper respirator use,
    • fit-testing,
    • proper use of respirators in routine and reasonably foreseeable emergencies,
    • respirator care and maintenance,
    • atmosphere supplying respirators,
  • Evaluating program effectiveness, and
  • Voluntary use of respiratory protection

As far as feasible, accepted engineering control measures (for example, enclosure or confinement of the operation, general and local ventilation, and substitution with less toxic materials) are implemented to prevent atmospheric contamination of breathing air by harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors.

When engineering controls are not feasible, or while they are being instituted, appropriate respirators are used. UCI, through the administration of the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) office, selects and provides an appropriate respirator to personnel subject to this policy. Such personnel include, but are not limited to:

  • UCI personnel in areas known to have contaminant levels requiring the use of respiratory protection;
  • UCI personnel performing operations documented to be health hazardous;
  • UCI personnel performing operations suspected of being health hazardous but for which adequate sampling data has not been obtained.

Prior to using a respirator, EHS needs to evaluate the respiratory hazards in the environment where the respirator will be used. The hazard evaluation determines the need or requirement for respirator use, and the correct respiratory protection for the process or operation.

To initiate the assessment, complete the UCI EHS Respiratory Hazard Evaluation Part 1 form. You will be contacted to discuss the information that you submitted. After the hazard evaluation is completed, you will be advised of any follow-up actions (for example, medical evaluations, voluntary use affidavits, etc).

Fit-Test and Training

  • New Respirator Users: You will be advised to contact AFTER you have completed the required documentation to schedule your fit-test and training date.
  • Continuing Respirator Users: You are required to submit to fit-test and training ANNUALLY. Please contact to schedule an appointment.
  • Voluntary Users: There is no annual requirement for fit-test and training.
  • Medical Student Externship/PACE Rotation: Medical school students looking to pursue an externship are sometimes required to have a respirator fit-test prior to coming to the new institution. The Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) office has the equipment to perform the fit-test. To access this EHS-sponsored benefit, you:
    1. Will need to provide proof that you are medically cleared to wear a respirator.
    2. Will need to ask the host institution for the type/brand/model of respirator they require you to be fit-tested on.
      • The EHS office has limited brands in stock. If we do not have the type/brand/model required by the host institution, you will need to procure and to provide us with the respirator for your fit-test.
  • Medical Student Working at UCI Health Facilities: Medical school students working at UCI Health Facilities are occasionally directed to contact the campus EHS office for the initial respirator fit-test, or to renew their previous fit-test record. To access this EHS-sponsored benefit, you will need to email with suggested dates and times for an appointment. Your proposal will be crosschecked against staff availability to derive an appointment date. The appointment date can be one or more days from the time of the initial appointment request. The fit-test result is only valid at UCI Health facilities and may not be used for externships or outside UCI Health Facilities.

You may register for a fit-test AFTER you receive the medical clearance statement from the medical evaluator AND verify the respirator requirements from the host institution. Fit-test appointments are made through