EPA Extends Respiratory Protection Flexibilities for Agricultural Pesticide Handlers During COVID-19

This original announcement was published by the EPA on May 7, 2021. Click here for more information!


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to protecting the health and safety of Americans, especially during the COVID-19 public health emergency. In June 2020, EPA issued temporary guidance regarding respiratory protection requirements for agricultural pesticide handlers that offers flexibility during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Due to the continued concerns regarding personal protective equipment shortages in the agricultural sector, EPA is extending the “annual fit test delay” to September 30, 2021 as part of the previously issued guidance on respiratory protection requirements for agricultural pesticide handlers. This revision is in alignment with Occupational Safety and Health Administration memos on respirators and addresses Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

The remainder of the June 2020 guidance remains in effect. EPA will assess the continued need for and scope of the temporary guidance on a regular basis. To read the amended guidance, visit https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/amended-statement-regarding-respiratory-protection-shortages-and-reduced-availability.