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Letter to All Interested Parties

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

Issue Date: January 17, 2008

From:Jonathan V. Szalajda, Chief, Policy and Standards Development Branch
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory

Subject: Colors for Respirator Element Labeling

The color coding requirements of labels for canisters and cartridges as a means for secondary identification are referenced in paragraphs 84.113 and 84.193 of 42 CFR 84, respectively. The standard incorporated by reference is ANSI K-13.1 - 1973: American National Standard for identification of air-purifying respirator canisters and cartridges. It has been communicated to NIOSH that standard samples of colors specified for respirator labeling are not available. This letter includes information for the colors specified in 42 CFR 84 relevant to accessing reference colors. Equivalent designations for these colors in several color-defining systems are provided in Tables 1 and 3, as an attachment. Acceptable tolerances for each specified color are also provided in Table 2, as an attachment. Some resources for obtaining standards, reference colors and translation into other color systems are available in the additional notes. Any questions concerning this letter should be directed to the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, Policy and Standards Development Branch at 412-386-5200.

Table 1 - Colors Specified for Secondary Designation of Air-Purifying Elements (a)

ISCC-NBS colors assigned in ANSI K13.1
Munsell Notationsassigned in ANSI/AIHA Z88.7-2001
Equivalent designations for centroid color in other color systems
Color Assigned
Centroid Color Name
Centroid Color Number
Nearest PANTONE® Color (b=)
CIE (c)
RGB (d)
Y
x
y
R
G
B
Red
Vivid red
11
5R 4/14
200 C
11.70 0.5711 0.3057 188 25 55
Orange
Vivid orange
48
5YR 7/14
1375 C
41.99 0.5252 0.4168 255 144 17
Brown
Deep yellowish brown
75
10YR 3/6
1405 C
6.391 0.4842 0.4712 94 67 0
Yellow
Vivid yellow
82
2.5Y 8/14
116 C
57.62 0.4842 0.4712 255 189 0
Olive
Light olive
106
7.5Y 5/6
105 C
19.27 0.4199 0.4551 138 121 45
Green
Vivid green
139
2.5G 5/10
356 C
19.27 0.2565 0.4705 0 140 82
Blue
Strong blue
178
2.5PB 4/10
301 C
11.70 0.1805 0.1888 0 101 170
Purple (e)
Strong purple
218
7.5P 4/8
259 C
11.70 0.3066 0.2228 129 77 136
White
White
263
N 9.5/
Cool Gray 1C
87.8 0.3100 0.3150 247 238 252
Gray
Medium gray
265
N 5.5/
423 C
23.95 0.3100 0.3150 138 133 141
Black
Black
267
N 0.75/
Black C
0.86 0.3100 0.3150 24 23 25

(a) Refer to ANSI K13.1-1973 and ANSI Z88.7-2001 for specific designations

(b) Values were obtained through “ask a question” at http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/index.aspx. CIE equivalents for CIE illuminant D50 were also provided and are included in Table 3.

(c) Obtained from ASTM D 1535-07 Table 2 for Munsell Notations in column 4. Another source is http://www.cis.rit.edu/mcsl/online/munsell_data/all.dat. Values are for CIE illuminant C-2º.

(d) sRGB, scaled to 255, estimates obtained from calculator available at www.easyrgb.com using CIE values in this table.

(e) 42 CFR 84.179 (b) (3) states the color, magenta, which is considered equivalent to purple e.g. NIOSH TB Respiratory Protection Program in Health Care Facilities, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-143 p. 52.

 

Table 2 - Ranges for Colors specified in ANSI K 13.1—1973

ISCC-NBS colors with ranges in Munsell Notation
Centroid Color Number
Centroid Munsell Notation (a)
Range (b)
Hue
Value
Chroma
11
5R 3.9 /15.4
1-7R
7R-9R
≤ 3.5
3.5 (c) 5.5
5.5 (c) 6.5
≤ 3.5
3.5 (c) 4.5
≥ 11
≥ 13
≥ 15
≥ 11
≥ 13
48
4.1YR 6.5 /15
2-7YR
≥ 4.5
≥ 14
75
8.8YR 3.1 /5
8YR-1Y
≤ 3.5
≥ 5
82
3.3Y 8 /14.3
1-7Y
≥ 5.5
≥ 11
106
8.2Y 5.1 /5.6
4-7Y
7Y-9Y
9Y-2GY
4.5-5.5
4.5-5.5
5.5 (c) 6.5
4.5-5.5
5.5 (c) 6.5
≥ 3
≥ 3
3-5
≥ 3
3-5
139
3.2G 4.9 /11.1
3-9G
1.2-8.6
≥ 11
178
2.9PB 4.1 /10.4
9B-5PB
5-7PB
3-5.5
9.-13
218
6.5P 4.3 /9.2
3-9P
3.5-5.5
9.-13
263
2.5PB 9.5 /0.2
all
≥ 8.5
0.5
265
3.3GY 5.4 /0.1
all
4.5-6.5
≤ 0.5
267
2.5PB 0.8 /0
all
≤ 2.5
≤ 0.5

(a) Values were obtained from http://www.anthus.com/Colors/Cent.html.

(b) Ranges were taken from charts in Chapter 13, Color: Universal Language and Dictionary of Names, by K. L. Kelly and D. B. Judd. National Bureau of Standards, Spec. Publ. 440, Dec. 1976.

(c) Indicates boundary not included in range: i.e. 3.5 < value ≤ 5.5.


Table 3 - CIE Equivalents for Pantone® Colors given in Table 1

Nearest PANTONE® Color
CIE
Y
D50
X
D50
Y
D50
200 C
12.36
0.5985
0.3179
1375 C
44.12
0.5387
0.4198
1405 C
6.69
0.5039
0.4384
116 C
60.36
0.4957
0.4705
105 C
20.09
0.4405
0.4680
356 C
19.84
0.2785
0.5107
301 C
11.51
0.1988
0.2347
259 C
11.87
0.3500
0.2623
Cool Gray 1C
87.80
0.3457
0.3585
423 C
23.98
0.3457
0.3585
Black C
0.86
0.3457
0.3585
 
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