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NIOSH/NPPTL CBRN Respirator Research and Development (R&D) Test Program

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

Letter to All Interested Parties

Issue Date: March 11, 2003

From: Roland J. Berry Ann, Branch Chief, Respirator Branch, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory

Subject: NIOSH/NPPTL CBRN Respirator Research and Development (R&D) Test Program

The December 28, 2001 Letter to Manufacturers announcing the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and/or Nuclear (CBRN) SCBA standard identifies a flexible certification test program that provides chemical agent test capability. In a July 12, 2002 Letter to Manufacturers, the flexible CBRN SCBA Program was extended to January 22, 2003. The purpose of this letter is to introduce a new CBRN Respirator Research and Development Test Program. The new program provides the same access to chemical agent testing as the flexible CBRN SCBA Program and increases the ability for manufacturers to perform trial and error type research and development testing to prove the effectiveness of respirator materials, surfaces and designs before submitting the product for NIOSH CBRN certification testing. The CBRN Respirator R&D Test Program is limited to applicants with a quality control plan evaluated as acceptable by NIOSH.

The new CBRN Respirator Research and Development Test Program's effective date is immediate. The new program is applicable for both CBRN SCBA (open circuit) testing and CBRN APR (tight fitting, full face) testing. The new program will include up to three consecutive test days, in the chemical test laboratory at Soldier Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM), Edgewood Area, (Bldg. E5100). For the three test days it is expected that a maximum of 4 Smartman Tests (2 for GB and 2 for HD) plus 10 material swatch tests per agent can be performed. Fewer tests are possible as determined by the applicant. Efforts will be made to process CBRN Respirator Research and Development Tests as quickly as possible, however, CBRN certification testing will be processed with a priority. NIOSH will process a letter of application and upon completion of initial review, NIOSH will authorize SBCCOM to schedule the R&D tests and confirm the schedule with NIOSH and the applicant. The applicant may have a maximum of three representatives present during the testing due to space limitations. Contractor representatives must be United States citizens, or, if foreign nationals, have obtained approved visit requests through their embassies and under the procedures of Department of Defense to visit SBCCOM to view the testing.

To participate in the NIOSH CBRN Respirator Research and Development Test program the applicant is required to submit a letter application to NIOSH. The letter application must contain a brief description of the respirator to be tested and the tests desired to be performed. Attachment A, Sample Letter , illustrates the required content. The tests to be performed are to be selected from the Attachment B Test Schedule .

Each application must include a check for an amount to cover the selected tests. Processing of letter applications will be according to the date and time received.

Multiple CBRN Respirator Research and Development Test Applications are possible but only one active application per applicant per respirator class is permitted at one time. Data obtained from tests is retained by the applicant and may be used as supporting data (pre-submission) in a certification application for CBRN SCBA or APR approval. Test results from the CBRN Respirator Research and Development Test Program are not applicable as certification tests.

Attachment A: Sample NPPTL CBRN Respirator Research and Development Test Letter Application

Attachment B: CBRN Respirator Research and Development (R&D) Test Schedule and Fees