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NIOSH Respirator User Notice

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

Issue Date: November 14 , 2002

From: Roland J. Berryann, Acting Chief, Respirator Branch, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory

Subject: Potential for the Quick Start Candle on MSA Life-Saver 60 Self-Contained Self-Rescuer (SCSR) to Overheat or Catch Fire on Units Manufactured from October 2000 to July 2002

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH or the Institute) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) wish to inform users of the MSA Life-Saver 60 Self-Contained Self-Rescuer (SCSR) that the potential for the quick start candle to become excessively hot may exist on MSA Life Saver 60 SCSRs manufactured from October 2000 to July 2002. In extreme cases, this excessive heat may cause components near the quick start candle to ignite. The MSA Life-Saver 60 SCSRs may be further identified by the NIOSH/MSHA approval number TC-13F-385.

MSA received reports of excessive heat, sparks, and fire on oxygen-generating breathing apparatus (OBA) canisters used by navies. MSA identified that the OBA quick start candle is also used on the Life-Saver 60 SCSR and reported this information to NIOSH and MSHA. However, there have been no reports of overheating with the Life-Saver 60 SCSRs to date. An MSA investigation revealed that the root cause of the overheated quick start candles is due to a higher than normal amount of iron powder present in the quick start candle that can cause the candle to become excessively hot. MSA has made changes to the candle production and now has additional test requirements to ensure that the quick start candles contain the right amount of iron powder.

Due to the potential risks to the user, both NIOSH and MSHA recommend that mine operators and other employers follow the recommendations listed in MSA's User Notice (pdf format) to conduct an inventory of MSA Life-Saver 60 SCSRs in their possession and identify all those units in service that were manufactured between September 2000 and July 2002. In accordance with that Notice, action should be taken promptly. The following guidance for identifying affected units was obtained from the MSA user notice:

Life-Saver 60 SCSRs manufactured between September 2000 and July 2002 are easily identified with a serial number. The serial numbers of the units in question range from 14573 through 15661. Units within this range were shipped to customers between September 2000 through July 2002. The serial number is stamped on the metal band of each unit. Page 2 - Respirators Users Notice

Additional information may be obtained from MSHA, Jeff Kravitz at 412-386-6923, or Monty Christo at 202-693-9527, or NIOSH, Siva Hota at 412-386-6731.

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  • Page last reviewed: November 14, 2002 (archived document) The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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