July 20, 2022 by Keely Knopp
It’s not a specialized kind of math or a new dance craze on TikTok: Spirometry is a lung function test that plays an important role in occupational respiratory health surveillance. This important test helps determine if a worker demonstrates specific patterns of respiratory impairment. Spirometry also helps to assess the effectiveness of protective measures (PPE) in the workplace.
There are three basic measurements to a spirometry test: volume, time and flow. And these metrics can help monitor the effects of occupational or environmental exposures. Spirometry is objective, noninvasive, sensitive to early change and reproducible, making it a great way to help protect workers who may be at risk of lung disease.
So, why is spirometry important in the workplace? Inhalation of some dusts, gases, or other air contaminants in the workplace — as well as personal exposures, like smoking — can harm the lungs. Spirometry testing may identify breathing problems early, which can prevent more serious long-term disease. Pulmonary testing like spirometry is required by OSHA standards for certain types of workplace tasks and can go hand-in-hand with respirator fitting, if indicated.
Mercy Urgent Care offers spirometry testing by appointment, as well as mask and respirator fit testing for your employees and pre-employment candidates. For more information on these important safety tests, please contact Mercy Occupational Medicine at 828.274.6707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.