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Letter to All Respirator Manufacturers

April 6, 2015

Certification Standards for Closed-Circuit Escape Respirators

Standards for the certification of closed-circuit escape respirators (CCERs), known in the mining industry as self-contained self-rescuers (SCSR), and in the maritime industry as emergency escape breathing devices (EEBD) were updated in a 2012 final rule. With the final rule, NIOSH established a new Subpart O in 42 C.F.R. Part 84. In the language of that final rule, manufacturers were allowed to continue to manufacture, label, and sell respirators certified to the prior Subpart H standards until April 9, 2015.

In response to concerns from manufacturers and other stakeholders, in January 2015, NIOSH published an interim final rule to extend the April 9, 2015 deadline until 6 months after the date that the first approval is granted to a product in each of the following categories: Cap 1 mining, Cap 3 mining, and Cap 3 non-mining. The interim final rule public comment period closed on March 30, 2015, and we are currently considering the submissions we received to the docket. [To read the interim final rule or the public comments received, visit and search for CDC-2015-0004].

At this time, if a manufacturer receives a NIOSH approval for either a Cap 1 mining, Cap 3 mining, or Cap 3 non-mining CCER, other manufacturers may continue to manufacture, label, or sell Subpart H CCERs in that category for an additional 6 months.

Accordingly, the regulatory text offering the 6-month extension is considered final until the response to the public comments is incorporated in the final rule. The timelines indicated in the final rule will identify the time period after which no Subpart H CCERs in that category may be manufactured, labeled, or sold.

Sincerely yours,

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

Letter [PDF – ** KB]