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Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

"Respiratory protection"


This standard is used for respiratory protection regulations when effective engineering controls are not feasible, or while they are being instituted. This standard outlines the requirements of the employer to establishment and maintain a respiratory protection program, the requirements of a NIOSH certified respirator and various situational requirement details. Please note that there are 28 OSHA-approved occupational safety and health State Plans. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as federal OSHA’s and may have different or more stringent standards related to PPE. More information about State Plans and their standards is available at:

Standard Type(s)

Anything specified as a requirement in a CFR

Personal Protective Equipment
Respiratory Protection

A breathing device worn to prevent inhalation of hazardous substances. Respirators protect the user in two basic ways. The first is by the removal of contaminants from the air. Respirators of this type include particulate respirators, which filter out airborne particles; and "gas masks” which filter out chemicals and gases. Other respirators protect by supplying clean respirable air from another source. Respirators that fall into this category include airline respirators, which use compressed air from a remote source; and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which include their own air supply.

  • Respirators, General
  • Biological
  • Chemical

This OSHA section applies to General Industry (part 1910), Shipyards (part 1915), Marine Terminals (part 1917), Longshoring (part 1918), and Construction (part 1926).

1910.134(d)(1)(ii): The employer shall select a NIOSH-certified respirator. The respirator shall be used in compliance with the conditions of its certification.

1910.134(d)(3)(iv)(B): An air-purifying respirator equipped with a filter certified by NIOSH under 30 CFR part 11 as a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, or an air-purifying respirator equipped with a filter certified for particulates by NIOSH under 42 CFR part 84.


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