Respirator certification regulations.
Appl Ind Hyg 1988 May; 3(5):R-8-R-9
The efforts of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to revise the respirator certification and respirator use regulations were discussed. The major features of NIOSH's proposed revisions include: eliminating the joint approval process by NIOSH and the Mine Safety and Health Administration required for respirator certification and replacing it with a new certification regulation that would be the sole responsibility of NIOSH; requiring minimum protection factors for each respirator type and allowing manufacturers to obtain certification at protection factors superior to the required minimum; requiring workplace or simulated workplace testing to determine compliance with the protection factor requirements; and revising laboratory test procedures for determining the protection features. Issues raised by the proposed revisions were discussed. The new regulations have been criticized because they will be too expensive and they offer no details for the simulated testing protocol. They focus solely on mines and mining and neglect the development of respirators for nonmining environments. The new approach amounts to self certification by the manufacturers. The proposed revisions to the laboratory testing protocol would eliminate many organic vapor cartridges and filters being used today without justifying a need for these changes. NIOSH's comments on the issues were presented. These include noting that NIOSH will release a performance base guidance for workplace or simulated workplace testing before the regulations are codified. Mines will not be required to conduct workplace testing. Self certification by manufacturers is not expected to occur as NIOSH itself can repeat any of the laboratory tests. The required laboratory test procedures will be grandfathered in over a 5 year period. It was emphasized that after reviewing all public comments NIOSH will perform a detailed economic impact analysis of the proposed regulations and release performance based workplace testing guidelines.
NIOSH-Author; Legislation; Standards; Occupational-health; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Industrial-safety; Mining-industry; Equipment-reliability
Applied Industrial Hygiene