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The UNC-Chapel Hill Respiratory Protection Program provides respirators to protect the health of employees in accordance with OSHA 1910.134. The program includes medical surveillance, training and fit-testing.

Respirator Guidance


  • Do implement Engineering Controls to reduce/control airborne hazard before resorting to Respiratory Protection.
  • Do get a Medical Evaluation at the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic (UEOHC) prior to wearing a respirator.
  • Do get quantitatively fit tested by EHS staff prior to using a respirator and ANNUALLY thereafter.
  • Do receive annual training and be able to demonstrate why a respirator is necessary and how improper fit, usage or maintenance can compromise respirator effectiveness.
  • Do read and understand the respirator manufacturer’s instructions with respect to maintenance, cleaning and care, limitations on use and cartridge/canister replacement schedule.
  • Do understand what contaminants and hazards you may be exposed to and ensure you are wearing the proper Respiratory Protection.
  • Do know the capabilities and limitations of your respirator and what to do in an emergency situation.
  • Do perform a user seal check (both positive and negative pressure tests) every time you put on your respirator.
  • Do Inspect, Clean, and Sanitize respirator prior to and after each use and store in a clean, dry container/bag.
  • Do use a minimum of Grade D breathing air for Supplied Air Respirators (SAR).


  • Don’t wear a respirator that you have NOT been fit tested for and approved to wear.
  • Don’t wear a tight-fitting respirator if you have facial hair growth between the face-to-facepiece seal. Loose-fitting Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR) should be worn by employees with facial hair.
  • Don’t use a respirator, filter, cartridge or canister that has NOT been certified by NIOSH.
  • Don’t wait until you smell a gas or vapor to change your chemical cartridge/canister.
  • Don’t remove your respirator in a contaminated environment.
  • Don’t use a respirator that is damaged or defective.
  • Don’t attempt to repair punctured or deformed face piece.
  • Don’t store a wet respirator in an air-tight container. Always thoroughly dry respirator prior to storage.
  • Don’t use an Air-Purifying Respirator (APR) or an airline respirator in an atmosphere that is oxygen-deficient or Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH).
  • Don’t enter an unknown environment without a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)
You may purchase a new North 7700 Series half face Air Purifying Respirator at the University Old General Storeroom. They maintain a stock of different sizes of this type of respirator, chemical cartridges (organic vapor) and P-100 (HEPA) filters. They also can order additional types of chemical cartridges if needed. 3M 8511 filtering face piece N95 disposable respirators are also available for purchase. Additional safety equipment (e.g. chemical protective clothing and gloves) may also be purchased at the Old General Storeroom.

To purchase a respirator or other safety equipment, you just need to bring a work order indicating which work unit to charge the cost of the respirator and associated safety equipment. The Old General Storeroom is located behind the Giles F. Horney Building, adjacent to the Service Station, north of campus. Please contact the Old General Storeroom at 919-962-6767 for specific purchasing questions.