PPE CASE Notes

Personal Protective Equipment Conformity Assessment Studies and Evaluations (PPE CASE) Notes are fact sheets that provide a summary of findings from our post-market personal protective equipment tests, evaluations, and investigations. These fact sheets inform respirator users about common themes or trends we found and provide best practice reminders to prevent future occurrences.


Cover page for publication 2021-111, Hot Filling Hazards with SCBA Air Cylinders

PPE CASE Notes Personal Protective Equipment Conformity Assessment Studies and Evaluation Notes: Hot Filling Hazards with SCBA Air Cylinders

DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2021-111

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program (FFFIPP) monitors issues related to self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). The NIOSH FFFIPP has identified a potential hazard associated with rapid filling of compressed breathing air cylinders and the associated latent pressure/breathing time loss. Rapidly filling a breathing air cylinder, also known as “hot filling,” generates excessive heat and can result in a loss of pressure as the cylinder cools leaving the user with reduced breathing air. Fire departments should ensure that cylinders are stored fully charged to maximize use and capacity.

PPE CASE Notes, Publication No. 2020-107

PPE CASE Notes Personal Protective Equipment Conformity Assessment Studies and Evaluation Notes: Firefighter SCBA Facepiece Sizing Issues

DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2020-107

Respirators used in the workplace need to be approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). When users experience issues with NIOSH-approved respirators, NIOSH initiates a Certified Product Investigation Process to identify the root cause and develop corrective actions. Below is an example of a past issue that NIOSH addressed through this process. This example focuses on self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) facepiece sizing issues within fire departments.

Page last reviewed: December 29, 2020