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Breathing Air Systems Program Peer Review Meeting, November 15, 2016

NIOSH Peer Review Meeting Announcement

August 4, 2016

Subject: Meeting: Breathing Air Systems Program Peer Review Meeting – Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announces a meeting to discuss Breathing Air Supplies on November 15 beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST and ending by 5:00 p.m. EST. This meeting will be held at the NIOSH, Pittsburgh site. This meeting will also be available using Adobe Connect.

Breathing Air Supplies (BAS) are a range of respiratory protection systems for use in an emergency for Escape, Rescue, and Refuge chambers installed in underground mines. The meeting will provide a forum for participants to provide the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) with technical advice and comments regarding the scientific aspects and direction of the BAS program. The participants will also provide input on potential future research in this area.

As identified by the MINER Act of 2006 and feedback from miners for underground mines, technologies available post-emergency for escape management need to be improved. The BAS research program addresses these deficiencies and attempts to find solutions for improvement through identifying, adapting, designing, building, and testing prototypes. The goal of these efforts is for manufacturers to take the prototypes to production and obtain NIOSH certification.

Specific breathing apparatus and system development are targeted for attention in each of these research areas—Escape Technology, Rescue Breathing Apparatus, Refuge Alternative Gas Supplies— in the BAS program. Multiple projects are being performed under the BAS research and development program at NIOSH. Principal projects for the development of the next generation closed-circuit mine escape respirators are the backpack and vest style escape rebreather being developed in conjunction with the U.S. Navy and an industry partner. Compressed air and cryogenic air breathing apparatus with their respective refill stations are under development with NASA and industry.

Long duration rescue breathing apparatus technology improvements have been addressed with the U.S. Navy and NASA. A cryogenic gas supply prototype for refuge chambers was tested at the NIOSH experimental mine with success. Final development work is required before dissemination to industry partners to take to production and make NIOSH-approved products available for use. Usability studies will be conducted in the course of this development to get the final prototypes closer to the user’s expectations and make it easier for the manufacturer to meet users’ needs.

The impact of the different outcomes of this research program will give the survivors and first responders in an emergency improved breathing protection technology products in the form of technology demonstrators and prototype systems using state-of-the-art materials and techniques. The projected timeline for the described work is three fiscal years as the work progresses from in-house development to industry dissemination.

Registration is required for both in-person and Adobe Connect participation. Because this meeting is being held at a Federal site, pre-registration is required on or before November 9 and a government-issued photo ID will be required to obtain entrance to the facility. Non‐U.S. citizens need to register on or before October 17, to allow sufficient time for mandatory facility security clearance procedures to be completed.

Once your registration form, indicating you are not a U.S. Citizen, is received you will receive an email from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) International Visitor Requests. This email will include a link to a secure site requesting additional information. CDC approval must be established before entry to the CDC NIOSH site will be permitted. All foreign nationals must present the same documents submitted with the visitor registration form (current passport, entry visa, or permanent residency card) at the security gate on the day of your visit. If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact Melinda at or 412-386-4075.

Register for this meeting.

Hotel Accommodations
There are several hotels located in close proximity to the NIOSH facilities:

Hampton Inn
4.6 miles from NIOSH. Shuttle service does not extend to NIOSH.
1550 Lebanon Church Road, Pittsburgh PA 15236

Spring Hill Suites
4.4 miles from NIOSH. Shuttle service does not extend to NIOSH.
1000 Regis Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15236

Holiday Inn Express
5.8 miles from NIOSH. Shuttle service does not extend to NIOSH.
3122 Lebanon Church Road, West Mifflin PA 15122

Comfort Inn
4.4 miles from NIOSH. No local shuttle service.
1340 Lebanon Church Road, Pittsburgh PA 15236

None of these hotels offer shuttle service to/from the airport.

If you do not want to rent a car, there are a few limo services that other visitors have used with success.
J&W – 412-720-7721
Carey Limo – 412-731-8671
Uber is another option

Lunch: We will offer a box lunch option that will be delivered to the meeting room. The box lunch options order form is linked from the registration page. NOTE: There are no other options for lunch in this building. The vending machine choices are limited to snacks and soft drinks. The cost is $8.00 per person (cash only), which must be paid that morning. The deadline for ordering or cancelling lunches is 10:00 a.m. on November 9.

Technical questions regarding the BAS Program can be directed to Rohan Fernando; 412-386-6619. Questions regarding logistics and accommodations can be sent to

Sincerely yours,

Christopher Coffey, PhD
Associate Director for Science
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory

Letter [PDF – 257 KB]

Agenda [PDF – ** KB]