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Frequently Asked Questions - Controlled Substances

  1. How do I know if I need to wear a respirator?

    You should have a hazard assessment done to determine if you need to wear one. Respiratory protection may be necessary if you are exposed to airborne dusts, mists or vapors. The only way to determine if a respirator is required is to perform sampling.

  2. Can I pick out any respirator?

    Once again you need a hazard assessment. It doesn't make sense to select one that will not protect you.

  3. I heard you need to be fit tested for a respirator, is that true?

    If you are required by your employer to wear a respirator, or if a doctor or other health care professional requires you to wear a respirator you must first be evaluated to ensure wearing a respirator does not affect your health, and then be fit tested.

  4. What is a fit test?

    A series of exercises designed to test the seal capabilities of the respirator.

  5. Do I have to have a fit test and medical evaluation for a dust mask?

    If you have a medical reason to wear a dust mask, such as allergies and a licenced health care official requires it, you need an evaluation and fit test.

  6. Where should I go for a respirator fit test and medical evaluation?

    Web link to respirator program information.

  7. How do I know if I need a respirator and if I am using the right kind of respirator?

    Some respirators filter dust, some filter chemicals. It is important to determine if the respirator fits, the fitness of the person wearing the respirator and the appropriate filtration needed for the respirator. Web link to respirator program information. Contact DEHS in twin Cites at (612) 626-6002; in Morris call the campus DEHS office at 320-589-6106.