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NIOSH NPPTL Webinar Concerning Standard for Performance Requirements of the Combination Unit Respirator

NIOSH Combination Unit Respirator Webinar – Rescheduled for March 31, 2015

March 20, 2015

The NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) has rescheduled the Combination Unit Respirator (CUR) webinar for March 31, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT, to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the development of a certification standard for CURs. NIOSH is also using this opportunity to encourage participation in an upcoming Institute of Medicine (IOM) Workshop where these relevant topics will be further discussed and incorporated into an IOM Summary Report. Information gathered at this NIOSH webinar and IOM workshop will be used by NIOSH to develop a NIOSH-NPPTL Report to update Congress on the progress of this standard.

A combination unit respirator is a multifunctional unit that employs the technology of two or more different types of respiratory protective devices (RPD) separately. The types of RPD technologies used in CUR is left to the discretion of the respirator manufacturer; however, a CUR typically consists of an Open Circuit-Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (OC-SCBA), an Air-Purifying Respirator (APR) or a Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR).

Meeting Emphasis
The Webinar will form a discussion base for the IOM Workshop, gathering information on relevant topic areas. The IOM Workshop, scheduled for April 30, 2015, will convene an expert committee to examine the use of CUR and the development and adoption of a CUR certification standard by first addressing questions such as the following:

What combination unit respirator technology is currently available in the U.S.? Describe the unique features of the manufactured devices according to the RPD types included in the combination(s).

What are the primary user groups interested in using NIOSH-certified combination unit respirators? What are the anticipated hazardous atmospheres/conditions that each user group is expected to encounter or enter and how are they assessed?

What are the current regulations limiting the use of combination unit respirators by the identified user groups and how do they limit use?

What regulatory options should NIOSH consider related to developing and adopting a certification performance standard for combination unit respirators?

Optional follow-on topics (questions 3 and 4) may include:

    • Identify potential performance standards or requirements to be used or to be developed to include the identified features in certified combination unit respirators
    • Identify potential research needed to validate the performance standard or requirement(s)
    • Estimate timelines and resources needed to complete the required research

Are there other questions that should be presented at the workshop?

Webinar Presenters
Maryann D’Alessandro, Director NPPTL
Frank Palya, Project Lead
Chris Coffey, Associate Director for Science

Registration for the webinar is required and is limited. Directions to access the webinar will be sent to all registered participants no later than March 30, 2015.

NOTE: If you registered for the originally-scheduled March 5 webinar, you DO NOT need to reregister.

Link to Registration Page

Background Information
On December 9, 2010, NPPTL held a NIOSH Public Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA as a Request for Information forum to discuss the issues related to the development of the NIOSH CBRN CRU performance standard. Because of this meeting, the NIOSH Docket Number 082A “Combination Respirator Unit” was established to house all the documents relevant to developing the CRU performance standard including the December 9, 2010 Public Meeting presentations, transcripts, and stakeholder docket comments. NIOSH Docket Number 082A can be accessed at

David Chirdon
Chief, Technology Evaluation Branch
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory

Letter [PDF – 106 KB]

Agenda [PDF – 91 KB]

Presentation for CUR Webinar [PDF- 1.1 MB]