Update: Interpretation of “Statement of Standard for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CRBN) Full Facepiece Air Purifying Respirator (APR), (CBRN APR Statement of Standard)”, published March 7, 2003, and as last revised April 4 2003
Letter to All Respirator Manufacturers
May 20, 2016
Subject: Update: Interpretation of “Statement of Standard for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CRBN) Full Facepiece Air Purifying Respirator (APR), (CBRN APR Statement of Standard)”, published March 7, 2003, and as last revised April 4 2003.
Since the date of publication, the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) has certified 16 respirators as conforming to the technical and administrative requirements established in the CBRN APR Statement of Standard. A significant part of these requirements is the standardization of the air-purifying canister and its connection to the facepiece to facilitate interoperability in emergency situations. These requirements were established during the Statement of Standard’s development as a result of public input, in particular input from the InterAgency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability (IAB). The design requirements incorporated into the CBRN APR Statement of Standard assure that replacement air-purifying canisters meeting the standard can be used on any similarly approved facepiece if needed in emergency circumstances.
On more than one occasion, applicants have approached NPPTL requesting approval for CBRN APR respirator configurations capable of meeting the underlying performance requirements, but not meeting the specified design requirements, for the purpose of providing a “lower profile” respirator configuration in which the air-purifying canister is located much closer to the wearer’s face.
Purpose of Notification:
The purpose of this notification is to inform both the user and manufacturing communities of the most recent interpretation regarding configurations conforming to the CBRN APR Statement of Standard. Avon Safety Systems, Inc. has been granted approval for a “low profile” CBRN APR respirator configuration deemed to meet the requirements of the CBRN APR statement of Standard.
In addition to meeting all CBRN APR performance requirements, the Avon facepiece and air-purifying canister of the approved configuration individually meet all of the design requirements as supplied to the respirator marketplace. The innovative feature of the design is a breakaway thread adapter piece supplied on every air-purifying canister produced for supply to users.
The as-supplied, air-purifying canister fully conforms to the standard and may be utilized for emergency interchange in the exact same manner as any of the other air-purifying canisters approved to date. Similarly, the as-supplied facepiece is capable of receiving any of the other approved air-purifying canisters. For users who have both the Avon facepiece and Avon canister, the low-profile configuration may be achieved in use by removing the threaded adaptor piece and connecting the air-purifying canister directly to the facepiece without the threaded adaptor piece.
Required Conditions Critical to Maintaining Conformance with the Statement of Standard:
- Under the prevailing requirements established in 42 CFR Part 84, only complete respirator systems will be evaluated for approval to the CBRN APR Statement of Standard.
- All system components of an approved CBRN APR delivered to end users, must fully meet the design requirements of the CBRN APR Statement of Standard.
- All system components must remain in the as-delivered configuration until time of need. Pre-adapted components are considered to be non-conforming. Instructions for use will be required to advise users regarding the consequences of this practice.
- Adaptation to the “low-profile” configuration may not be achieved through the use of any component which needs to be added by the end user.
- Adaptation to the “low-profile” configuration must be achievable without the use of tools.
- Adapted components are not to be returned to their un-adapted configuration. Physical barriers against this possibility may be required for approval.
Chief, Conformity Verification and Standards Development Branch
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory
Letterpdf icon [PDF – 38 KB]