ISRP 2002 abstract

Presenter/author Title Abstract

Boord, Leslie
Dower, John M.

National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, NIOSH, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, USA


NIOSH CBRN respiratory Protection Standards Update


Emergency response forces in the United States are required under federal regulations to provide NIOSH-approved respirators appropriate for the expected hazards. NIOSH efforts to develop the appropriate respiratory protection standards began with a domestic assessment of potential chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism agents. A review of national and international military and industrial respiratory protection standards for protection against terrorism agents was conducted. Based upon findings from the threat assessment and standards review, NIOSH developed a three year schedule for NIOSH CBRN respirator standards to address all classes of respiratory protection.

In December 2001, NIOSH announced the first set of CBRN respirator standards to address open-circuit self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Fire fighters and hazardous material incident (HAZMAT) responders expressed a primary concern that their open-circuit SCBA would survive a CBRN exposure. The NIOSH CBRN SCBA standard combines a three tier approval structure: NIOSH industrial SCBA approval; National Fire Protection Association fire service certification; and three special performance tests against chemical warfare agents and facepiece protection levels. Current CBRN respirator standards efforts are directed at standards for full facepiece air-purifying respirators. Standards concepts and future standards schedules will be discussed.