Mining Contract: Development of both a Dockable and Hybrid Person-Wearable Self-Contained Self-Rescuer
A dockable, hybrid, self-contained self-rescuer is needed that would be configured to allow a breathing device to connect (dock) to the base unit and allow the user to switch between breathing devices without “breaking seal.” This unit would retain the capacity to accept multiple changes of oxygen supply or filters over an extended period as the useful life of any individual add-on unit was expended.
Contract Status & Impact
This contract is completed. To receive a copy of the final report, send a request to OMSHR@cdc.gov.
Recent enacted legislation by the Federal and several State governments requires additional supplies of breathable air for individuals trapped underground during a mine escape. However, if a miner cannot successfully make transfers from one self-contained self-rescuer (SCSR) to the next while in a toxic atmosphere, this additional supply of SCSRs may not be sufficient to enable the miners to escape. Effectively transferring from one SCSR to the next may prove to be especially difficult while under the mental stress of an emergency event. By simplifying this task and allowing miners to extend the useable life of the first SCSR they don, survivability should be greatly enhanced.
Under this contract, OMSHR sought a dockable, hybrid, self-contained self-rescuer that would be configured to allow a breathing device to dock to the base unit and allow the user to switch between breathing devices without “breaking seal.” This unit would retain the capacity to accept multiple changes of oxygen supply or filters over an extended period as the useful life of any individual add-on unit was expended.
This research resulted in the development of three technologies: (1) a 60-minute compressed oxygen rebreather that allows users to change out nearly spent devices with fresh devices without breaking seal or having to hold their breath; (2) a Carbon Monoxide Filter Self-Rescuer (CO FSR) that uses a proprietary precious metal catalyst providing eight hours of protection; (3) a Breathing Air Monitor (BAM), which gives the user an indication of when it is necessary to use the SCSR because of an oxygen-deficient environment and when it safe to use just the CO filter.