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Development of both a dockable and hybrid person-wearable self-contained self-rescuer.

Chambers P
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Contract 200-2007-19569, 2011 Jan; :1-72
In December of 2006, TPI responded to two RFP's from NIOSH seeking technical proposals to design and build novel respirators for use in the mining industry. One RFP sought a dockable, self-contained, self-rescuer (SCSR) to allow for extended respiratory protection during mine escape, and the other was for a hybrid mine escape respirator incorporating both air-purifying, and self-contained types of respirators, also for the purpose of extending the time available for escaping miners to receive respiratory protection. TPI recognized a commonality in the two RFPs and responded to both with designs that could be produced independently, but which shared several fundamental features. In evaluating TPI's responses to the RFPs, NIOSH recognized a benefit in the shared design features and awarded one contract for TPI to pursue both concepts resulting in one conceptual product referred to as the dockable/hybrid SCSR. This SCSR would be configured to allow any suitably equipped breathing device (CO Filter Self Rescuer or another SCSR) to connect (dock) to the base unit and to allow the user to switch between them without 'breaking seal'. This dockable unit would retain the capacity to accept multiple changes of O2 supply or filters over an extended period as the useful life of any individual add-on unit is expended. As the project developed it resulted in the development of a new carbon monoxide (CO) Filtered Self-Rescuer (FSR) to dock to the SCSR and a small electronic sensor, the Breathing Air Monitor (BAM), to alert the user to certain hazards in the local ambient air: Self Contained Self Rescuer (SCSR). The TPI SCSR is a 60-min compressed O2 rebreather that protects the user from all adverse breathing conditions. TPI uses Micropore's Lithium Hydroxide (LiOH) catalyst to absorb the retained CO2. TPI's SCSR is supplied with a docking valve that allows users to change out nearly spent devices with fresh devices without breaking seal or having to hold their breath. Carbon Monoxide Filter Self-Rescuer (CO FSR). TPI also developed, via a supply agreement with 3M Company, a carbon monoxide (CO) Filtered Self-Rescuer (FSR) that uses a proprietary precious metal catalyst providing 8 hours of protection. TPI's CO FSR can be supplied with a flanged fitting that docks to TPM's SCSR or it can be supplied with a mouthbit for use as a self-contained device for CO protection alone. Breathing Air Monitor (BAM). Finally TPI developed, in cooperation with the Kohler-Bright Star Company, a Breathing Air Monitor (BAM) that would give 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 (normal O2 but high CO) or if is safe to not use either. This warning system will avoid the user expending the breathing device unnecessarily (e.g. the atmosphere is still breathable). The resultant technology is a module containing the sensors, electronics, PC board and alarms that fits on the miner's cap lamp battery, between the body and top cap. By the end of this contract TPI had demonstrated prototypes of all three products. The project did not result in certified devices by the completion of the contract but TPI has negotiated licensing agreements for these three products and they are being prepared for certification submission by the licensee.
Respirators; Mining-industry; Self-contained-breathing-apparatus; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Air-purifying-respirators; Miners; Filters; Underground-mining; Mining-industry
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Contract Report
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Contract 200-2007-19569
Performing Organization
Technical Products, Inc., Sterling, MA 01564
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division