A spirometry screen is the initial step when assessing pulmonary function (lung health) and may also be called a pulmonary function test. It measures how fast an individual can move air in and out of their lungs and determines whether or not their lung capacity falls within a normal range. It involves forced breaths into a spirometer which measures the flow and force of the breath movement.
The following factors are taken into account by the technician when performing and interpreting a spirometry test because they can affect the lung capacity of clients:
- Smoking Habits
- Whether the Client Has Asthma
Like audiometric testing, spirometry screening is required for workers who are considered to be exposed. For audiometric testing, the term exposed would be for workers in areas of 85dB or greater but for spirometry, it is for workers exposed to the following:
- Coal Dust
However, many other airborne particulates can cause lung health issues (ex: smoke, vapor, powders, etc.) so we recommend any worker exposed to airborne particulates undergo annual spirometry screening as a part of a broader lung health program (includes air quality testing, chest x-rays and mask fit testing).