The US Environmental Protection Agency requires that all individuals working with pesticides labeled for respiratory protection complete a medical evaluation and fit test prior to respirator use.
The medical evaluation will determine if you are physically fit to wear a respirator and must be completed before the fit test. It is designed to identify general medical conditions that could result in serious medical consequences with the use of a respirator, so honest answers are critical. Each item listed below must be known in order to complete the medical clearance:
- type and weight of respirator
- length of time and frequency of respirator use
- level of effort that will be involved while wearing the respirator
- other protective clothing or equipment to be worn during respirator use
- temperature and humidity extremes at work
The following options are available to complete the required medical evaluation:
- A physician or licensed health care professional (LHCP) can perform the medical evaluation using the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) medical questionnaire or equivalent method. Although the medical clearance is technically good for as long as the LHCP indicates, most providers grant one year unless a major change in health occurs. Check with physicians’ offices, urgent care facilities, occupational health clinics or hospitals to determine whether or not they can provide medical clearance services.
- Complete the OSHA medical questionnaire (Spanish version) and have it reviewed by your physician or LHCP.
- Online options are available at www.resptest.com, www.respexam.com, or www.respclearance.com. These options could grant medical clearance immediately, or may require a visit to a PLHCP for an in-person evaluation. Note: Although on-line medical clearances meet EPA’s requirement, caution should be taken in only obtaining an on-line clearance. An individual could have a condition (e.g., high blood pressure, asthma, heart condition, etc.) that could cause them to be unsafe when using a respirator that might only be detected by a hands-on medical evaluation.