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Colors for Respirator Element Labeling

Letter to All Interested Parties

Issue Date: January 17, 2008

From: Jonathan V. Szalajda, Chief, Policy and Standards Development Branch
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory

Subject: Colors for Respirator Element Labeling

The color coding requirements of labels for canisters and cartridges as a means for secondary identification are referenced in paragraphs 84.113 and 84.193 of 42 CFR 84, respectively. The standard incorporated by reference is ANSI K-13.1 – 1973: American National Standard for identification of air-purifying respirator canisters and cartridges. It has been communicated to NIOSH that standard samples of colors specified for respirator labeling are not available. This letter includes information for the colors specified in 42 CFR 84 relevant to accessing reference colors. Equivalent designations for these colors in several color-defining systems are provided in Tables 1 and 3, as an attachment. Acceptable tolerances for each specified color are also provided in Table 2, as an attachment. Some resources for obtaining standards, reference colors and translation into other color systems are available in the additional notes. Any questions concerning this letter should be directed to the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, Policy and Standards Development Branch at 412-386-5200.

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