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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

Respiratory Protection Program

Ohio State's Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) group, in compliance with state laws, adopted from Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules found at 29 CFR 1910.134 (link is external), has developed a General Respiratory Protection Program. This program covers all faculty and staff employed by The Ohio State University, who are required to wear respiratory protection.
Potential agricultural respiratory exposures include:
Hydrogen sulfide: Results from the bacterial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Agricultural exposure can come from partial or full manure pits in livestock confinement buildings.
Ammonia: A gas created when bacterial reactions occur with urine and feces of livestock. Ammonia has a very strong, pungent odor. Found near livestock facility floors and manure pits.
Carbon dioxide: Found in grain bins storing wet corn, airtight silos, and livestock confinement buildings.
Carbon monoxide: Typically exhaust from a combustion engine, heating source, or propane-fueled equipment.
Oxides of nitrogen: Compounds from oxygen reacting with nitrogen in areas where plant material is stored. The reaction causes bleach-like odor and the silage will have a yellowish or reddish tint.
Organic dusts: Found in all agricultural environments. Organic dusts include molds, pollens, bacteria, pesticides, chemicals, feed particles, bedding particles, insect parts, and fecal material. Heavy concentrations of organic dust are common in grain dryers, livestock facilities, or other enclosed spaces.
Pesticides: Products intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating pests in agricultural production.
Anhydrous ammonia: A common fertilizer injected into the soil for agricultural production. It is stored under pressure as a liquid and turns to a gas with a pungent odor when released.
EHS provides respiratory fit tests for Ohio State employees required to use respiratory protection. Respiratory fit tests can be scheduled by using the Ohio State EHS Respirator Fit Test Scheduler (calendar) (link is external) (follow the instructions after clicking the link) or can be requested by using the Service Request Form (select Occupational Health and Safety from the Service Area drop-down menu and Respiratory Fit Test from the Service drop-down menu). Parking and location information for respirator fit tests can be found in the Directions page.
The College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences follows a training program that can be accessed via OSU Environmental Health and Safety website. ( A respiratory protection module is available for faculty, staff and students. Additional training specifc to equipment, processes, or locations may be required by the supervisor.
To start the training (OSU employees / students):
1) Click on this link -
2) Cick on the Occupational Health & Safety content area.

3) Scroll down to locate the Respiratory Protection training course and click on "Take this Course".
4) Sign in using your login (last name.###)
5) At the end of the on-line training you will be prompted to take the quiz.
6) Once training has been completed, a list your training sessions will be listed under “My Training”.
If you have any questions regarding Respiratory Protection, please contact Kent McGuire at or 292-0588. You may also contact the OSU Environmental Health and Safety Office online at or by phone at (614) 292-1284.
Reviewed / Updated: 10/26/20 K. McGuire