Spirometry Training Video Release

Posted on by Kathleen Rogers, BS, RRT

“Fill your lungs completely…and blast the air out! Keep blowing until I tell you to stop.” This coaching will sound familiar if you’ve ever performed a breathing test known as spirometry. Valid spirometry testing requires full participant effort and a carefully trained technician. Spirometry tests lung function by measuring how much and how hard a person can exhale after a maximum breath. It can detect reduction in lung function among workers. Workplace exposures to substances such as silica, cotton dust and coal can cause permanent lung damage. Monitoring respiratory function can help to assess the effectiveness of measures implemented to protect the individual worker.

The new film, Learning Curves: Technical Procedures for Spirometry Testing in the Occupational Setting, consists of seven downloadable video modules intended to support the NIOSH Spirometry Training Program curriculum and assist occupational health professionals. Modules include an overview of practicum training, spirometry equipment, verification of system accuracy, testing procedures, determining valid spirometry, and reporting test results.

What is the NIOSH Spirometry Training Program?

The Cotton Dust Standard promulgated by OSHA in 1978 gives NIOSH the responsibility to approve courses in spirometry for instruction of those individuals who will be administering spirometry tests to employees who are exposed to cotton dust. The NIOSH Spirometry Training program approves various sponsors to teach these courses within the U. S. and internationally. NIOSH oversees and provides educational materials to assure consistency in training practices. The ‘Learning Curves’ video is part of this NIOSH mission.

Two other regulations also require that spirometry technicians have current certificates from NIOSH-approved spirometry courses:

  • Specifications for Medical Examinations of Coal Miners, requirement described at 42 CFR Part 37.95(a)
  • Respirable Crystalline Silica, requirements described at 29 CFR 1910.1053(i)(2)(iv) and 29 CFR 1926.1153(h)(2)(iv)


Links on the NIOSH Spirometry Training Program web page include course schedules, a searchable map, and sponsor contact information. Spirometry monitoring technology, including Spirometry Longitudinal Data Analysis (SPIROLA) Software are also available.

If you have used any of the new videos we would love to hear your input in the comment section below.

Kathleen Rogers, BS, RRT, is a Health Scientist in the NIOSH Respiratory Health Division.




Posted on by Kathleen Rogers, BS, RRT

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Page last reviewed: January 9, 2018
Page last updated: January 9, 2018