Respiratory Protection

Updated February 07, 2012


It is the Institute's goal to control respiratory hazards at their point of generation by using engineering controls and good work practices. In keeping with this goal, the use of respirators as the primary means of protecting employees from airborne hazards is considered acceptable only in very specific situations.

If you think that you require a respirator for work you’re performing at the Institute, please first contact MIT’s Industrial Hygiene Program (IHP) within the EHS Office at (617) 452-3477 or  IHP will help you determine if a respirator is required, what type of respirator you need, and, if applicable, what type of filters/cartridges you should use.

SCBA Equipment

How to Obtain & Use a Respirator

PLEASE NOTE:  Respirators used at MIT MUST be acquired through EHS.  Please do not attempt to acquire a respirator without first consulting EHS.

Click here for a fact sheet outlining the steps you need to take in order to obtain a respirator through EHS.

Click here  for EHS’ Exposure Estimate Form – EHS will ask you to complete this form before you are issued a respirator.

Fit Testing

Before you can wear a respirator, a test must be conducted to determine if the respirator fits you adequately. This test is called a “fit test” and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. During the test, an IHP staff member will train you in how to use and take care of your respirator. Additionally, you will put on your respirator and a series of tests will be performed to determine if it fits you well. To schedule a fit test, call IHP at (617) 452-3477.  Fit tests are required annually for as long as you continue to use your respirator.

Click here for a fact sheet about respirator fit testing.

Filtering Facepieces (“Dustmasks”)

If you are required to use a filtering facepiece (commonly referred to as a “dustmask”) as part of the task you are performing and/or if you are using a filtering facepiece as protection against a hazardous material, then you must comply with all components of the Institute’s Respiratory Protection Program (e.g., medical evaluation, fit testing, training). 

If you elect to wear a filtering facepiece to enhance comfort while performing a task involving non-hazardous, nuisance dust, then many components of the Respiratory Protection Program are not mandatory.  Federal regulations, however, require that you review the basic information contained in this form when using a filtering facepiece on a voluntary basis.  Please print the form, review it, sign it, and return to EHS in N52-496.

How to Use and Take Care of a Respirator

Click here for a short guide on how to use and care for your respirator.

Specific Supplied Air Respirator Use Guides

Click here for a visual guide on how to don and test the supplied air respirators at MIT’s Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (NRL).

Documentation for MIT’s Respiratory Protection Program

Click here for complete documentation on MIT’s Respiratory Protection Program.

Respirator Fit Testing Fact Sheet - First-Time Respirator Users224.35 KB
How to Use and Take Care of a Respirator339.4 KB
NRL Supplied Air Respirator Guide440.68 KB
Dustmask Voluntary Use Form11.53 KB
Respiratory Protection Program Complete Documentation306 KB
Respirator Fit Testing Fact Sheet - Returning Respirator Users212.46 KB