NIOSH Conformity Assessment Letter to Manufacturers
NIOSH CA 2018-1001
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) employs the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) to conduct Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) testing. These services support the NIOSH Respirator Approval Program by completing CWA testing for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) respiratory protection conformance.
On May 30, 2018, ECBC formally notified NIOSH that the ECBC Simulant Agent Resistant Test Manikin (SMARTMAN) Laboratory was placed on a safety stand-down due to fume hood airflow issues identified on May 23, 2018. Using smoke test analysis and Vaneometer™ flow measurements, ECBC test operators found that all fume hoods in the SMARTMAN Laboratory exhibited a ‘stagnant zone’ directly in front of the SMARTMAN test chamber where air periodically escaped the fume hood. Should this occur during a chemical agent operation, the operators could be at risk of exposure.
All SMARTMAN operations have ceased while ECBC and contractor ventilation/HVAC experts work to correct the issue. NIOSH will inform stakeholders when the laboratory becomes operational.