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Fatal injuries in the United States involving respirators, 1984-1995.
Suruda-A; Milliken-W; Stephenson-D; Sesek-R
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2003 Apr; 18(4):289-292
There is little published information concerning the epidemiology of fatal injuries involving respiratory protection. We compiled a case series from U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation reports from 1984 through 1995. For the 12-year period there were 41 incidents resulting in 45 deaths due to asphyxiation or chemical poisoning while wearing a respirator. There were 23 deaths related to airline respirators, 17 deaths involving use of negative pressure (air purifying) respirators, and 5 deaths involving self-contained breathing apparatus. Among the 23 deaths involving airline respirators, 15 were associated with compatible connection couplings for breathable air and inert gases. Three workers with beards died who wore tightfitting respirators in an atmosphere that was immediately dangerous to life and health. Most of the fatalities involved regulatory and procedural violations, and would have been prevented by proper training and compliance with existing regulations. The information concerning the victims was limited but it did not appear that medical screening would have prevented any of the deaths.
Mortality-data; Respirators; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Inert-gases; Aircraft; Epidemiology; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Air-purifying-respirators; Self-contained-breathing-apparatus; Oxygen-deficient-atmospheres; Poisons; Standards; Regulations; Organic-solvents; Fungicides
Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112
7727-37-9; 630-08-0; 7440-37-1; 7664-41-7; 75-44-5; 7783-06-4
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Family & Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division