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CBRN Combination SCBA and CBRN Supplied Air Respirator Concepts

Letter to All Interested Parties

Issue Date: October 6, 2006

From: William A. Hoffman, Chief, Policy and Standards Development Branch, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory

Subject: CBRN Combination SCBA and CBRN Supplied Air Respirator Concepts

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is in the process of evaluating regulatory changes to permit the approval of various Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) combination respirators and CBRN Supplied Air Respirators (SAR). Because of the diversity of designs and configurations possible, NIOSH has decided to proceed with the process in phases rather than attempt a global change for all possible combinations and supplied air systems.

The predominant area of interest and the first step will be CBRN SCBA respirators in combination with CBRN Air Purifying Respirators (APR). As such, the initial concept will target a CBRN Open Circuit SCBA in combination with a CBRN non-powered air purifying tight fitting full facepiece respirator (CBRN APR) and/or a CBRN tight fitting full facepiece powered air purifying respirator (CBRN PAPR) where the air purifying portion of the PAPR must also function in a non-powered mode.

Concurrent with the combination CBRN SCBA concept, NIOSH is also proceeding with a concept for a CBRN supplied air respirator (SAR) which will consist of a type C or CE tight fitting positive pressure, pressure demand CBRN supplied air equipped with a minimum of a 15 minute escape cylinder.

Accompanying this notification are two concepts outlining the requirements that NIOSH views as important for evaluation of such respirators. These topics will be discussed at the October 12, 2006 NIOSH public meetings(

Concept Standard for Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Type C and CE Positive Pressure, Pressure Demand Full Facepiece Supplied Air Respirator (SAR) [PDF]

Concept for Open Circuit CBRN SCBA in Combinations with Non-Powered CBRN Air-Purifying Tight-Fitting Respirators and/or Powered Air-Purifying Tight-Fitting Respirators [PDF]

CBRN Combination SCBA and CBRN Supplied Air Respirator Concepts [PDF – 13 KB]