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NIOSH Approves First Upgrade to CBRN Protection for Specified Scott Health & Safety SCBA Devices

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
September 30, 2003

Specified models of previously deployed Scott Health & Safety self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) may now be upgraded for protection against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) agents using procedures and materials certified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

NIOSH announced the certification to Scott Health & Safety on September 11, 2003. The approved procedures and materials apply to upgrades of Scott Health & Safety’s Model 4.5 Air-Pak 30-minute, 45-minute, and 60-minute open-circuit, pressure-demand, self-contained breathing apparatus. The upgrade procedure involves the inspection, testing and installation of components including labels and instructions.

This approval signifies that the products receiving the upgrade are expected to protect firefighters and other emergency responders from CBRN-related gaseous, airborne particulate, and liquid respiratory exposures. NIOSH based its determination on positive results from rigorous laboratory tests, evaluation of product specifications for the upgrade procedures, materials, and an assessment of the manufacturer’s quality control procedures.

This approval action allows a qualified Scott Health & Safety technical representative to inspect, modify, and test previously deployed 4.5 models by following approved procedures to achieve CBRN protection, and to apply a label designating the respirator as having received a CBRN retrofit. The label looks like this:

CBRN Agent Approved label

The upgraded SCBA are NIOSH-certified for occupational use by emergency responders. NIOSH approval does not constitute a commercial endorsement of these or any products. The ability to upgrade previously purchased and deployed SCBA using this approval would provide an alternate method for emergency responders to achieve CBRN protection without purchasing new SCBA respirators certified by NIOSH for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear exposures.

NIOSH tested and evaluated the respirators under criteria announced in a NIOSH letter to manufacturers on March 11, 2003. The Scott Health & Safety models are the first approved by NIOSH for upgrade under these criteria. The criteria build on NIOSH’s existing program for certifying respirators for traditional occupational uses.

Development of the new program involved broad national support and collaboration by many agencies, organizations, and stakeholders. It complements NIOSH’s other programs for certifying respirators that would be used by emergency responders in potential terrorist incidents. NIOSH also certifies new self-contained breathing apparatus for such uses, and it has issued criteria for certifying air-purifying respirators as well.

All new certifications are posted on the NIOSH web page as soon as they are issued, at

For additional information on NIOSH’s program for testing and certifying respirators for use by responders against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear exposures, call the toll-free NIOSH number, 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674) or visit the web page for NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory at