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Breathing Protection

This page lists the projects we are currently working on to improve the breathing protection used by fire fighters. Also provided is a list of publications from our completed studies related to breathing protection among fire fighters.

Current Projects

NIOSH Respirator User Notices

Approved Respirator Standards: To protect Emergency Responders against CBRN agents in terrorist attacks

Fire fighter SCBA evaluations
This research is being done to investigate self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) involved in and possibly contributing to a fire fighter fatality or injury in order to improve the quality of SCBA

Evaluation of NFPA 1991 vapor protective ensembles worn with CC-SCBAs
Fire fighters are wearing National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1991 certified ensembles over closed-circuit self-contained breathing apparatus (CC-SCBA), though performance testing during the certification process was only conducted with open-circuit SCBA. To address this situation, this research will conduct performance testing on fully-encapsulated protective ensembles worn over CC-SCBA. Findings will help determine the impact on internal ensemble overpressure and oxygen built inside the ensemble.

Respirator Testing and Certification
This Congressionally-mandated project coordinates and provides five primary functions: respirator certification; quality assurance; investigation of complaints concerning certified respirators, technical assistance, and standards development. Additionally, this project develops the processes needed to certify respiratory protection, including laboratory bench testing, human subject testing, and environmental testing. This effort addresses contemporary hazards by expeditiously incorporating technological advancements into Federal Standards.