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Letter to All Interested Parties

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Issue Date: June 4, 2003

From: Les F. Boord, Acting Branch Chief, Respirator Branch, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory

Subject: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Announcement of a Public Meeting to be held on June 25, 2003, to Continue Conceptual Discussions for Escape Respirator Standards Development Efforts Used for Respiratory Protection Against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Agents, and Provide an Update on the Quality Assurance/Administrative Module

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) is planning to conduct a public stakeholder meeting on June 25, 2003, from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh/Southpointe, 1000 Corporate Drive, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

Escape Respirator Standards Development Information:


The purpose of the meeting is to continue conceptual discussions of concepts being considered for CBRN Escape Respirator standards and to provide an update on the development of the Quality Assurance/Administrative module. NIOSH, along with the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM) and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), will present information to attendees concerning the concept development for the Escape Respirator CBRN standard. Participants will be given an opportunity to ask questions and to present individual comments for consideration on the CBRN topics. Participants will also be given the opportunity to comment on the Quality Assurance/ Administrative module.

Interested participants may obtain the latest copy of the Escape Respirator CBRN concept paper, as well as earlier versions of the concept papers used during the standard development effort, from the NIOSH contact identified below, or from the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory web site, address: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/. The June 15, 2003, concept paper will be used as the basis for discussion at the public meeting, as well as forming the basis for the new Escape Respirator CBRN statement of standard.

Recent acts of terrorism have created an urgent awareness of domestic security and preparedness issues. Municipal, states, and federal responder groups, particularly those in locations considered potential targets, have been developing and modifying response and consequence management plans. Since the World Trade Center and anthrax incidents, most emergency response agencies have operated with a heightened appreciation of the potential scope and sustained resources requirements for coping with such events. The federal Interagency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability (IAB) has worked to identify personal protective equipment that is already available on the market for responders' use. The IAB has identified the development of standards or guidelines for respiratory protection equipment as a top priority. NIOSH, NIST, National Fire Protection Association, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding defining each agency or organization's role in developing, establishing, and enforcing standards or guidelines for responders' respiratory protective devices. NIST has initiated Interagency Agreements with NIOSH and SBCCOM to aid in the development of appropriate protection standards or guidelines. NIOSH has the lead in developing standards or guidelines to test, evaluate, and approve respirators.

NIOSH, SBCCOM, and NIST have hosted public meetings on April 17 and 18, 2001; June 18 and 19, 2002; October 16 and 17, 2002, and April 29, 2003, presenting their progress in assessing respiratory protection needs of responders to CBRN incidents. The methods or models for developing hazard and exposure estimates, and the status in evaluating test methods and performance standards that may be applicable as future CBRN respirator standards or guidelines were discussed at these meetings.

The Quality Assurance/Administrative update module had been under development prior to the introduction of the CBRN topics and has been previously presented in an open format, the last of which were public meetings held on August 8, 2000, in Washington, DC, and on August 16, 2000, in San Francisco, California. More recent developments have necessitated revisions that will be highlighted at this meeting.

Interested parties should make hotel reservations directly with the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh/Southpointe (724/743-5000 / 1-800-HILTON) before the cut-off date of June 16, 2003. A group rate of $55 per night has been negotiated for meeting guests. You must reference the NIOSH/NPPTL Public Meeting to receive this special rate.

Please confirm your attendance to this meeting by completing the enclosed registration form and forwarding it by fax (304-285-4459) to the Event Management Office, or completing an electronic registration form from the NIOSH Homepage (www.cdc.gov/niosh/) by selecting Conferences and then the event.

Requests to make presentations on the CBRN topics at the public meeting should be mailed to the NIOSH Docket Officer, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, M/S C34, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, Telephone 513-533-8303, Fax 513-533-8285, E-mail niocindocket@cdc.gov. All requests to present should contain the name, address, telephone number, relevant business affiliations of the presenter, a brief summary of the presentation, and the approximate time requested for the presentation. Oral presentations should be limited to 15 minutes.

After reviewing the requests for presentation, NIOSH will notify each presenter of the approximate time that their presentation is scheduled to begin. If a participant is not present when their presentation is scheduled to begin, the remaining participants will be heard in order. At the conclusion of the meeting, an attempt will be made to allow presentations by any scheduled participants who missed their assigned times. Attendees who wish to speak but did not submit a request for the opportunity to make a presentation may be given this opportunity at the conclusion of the meeting, at the discretion of the presiding officer.

Comments on the topics presented at the meeting should be mailed to the NIOSH Docket Office, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, M/S C34, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, Telephone 513-533-8303, Fax 513-533-8285. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to niocindocket@cdc.gov. E-mail attachments should be formatted as WordPerfect 6/7/8/9 or Microsoft Word. Comments should be submitted to NIOSH no later than July 25, 2003, and should reference docket number, NIOSH-002, in the subject heading if they pertain to the CBRN topics, or reference docket number, NIOSH-001, in the subject heading if they pertain to the Quality Assurance/Administrative Module.

For further information, please contact the Event Management Office, P.O. Box 880,
3610 Collins Ferry Road, Morgantown, WV 26507, Telephone 304-285-4750,
Fax 304-285-4459, E-mail confserv@netl.doe.gov.

 
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