NIOSH Respiratory Protective Device Information

Subject: Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) user information regarding compressed breathing gas containers (cylinders), NIOSH approval holder user instructions, and Department of Transportation (DOT) permit and marking

Revised: Supersedes the August 2018 version

NIOSH CA 2018-1006-R1
Revised February 2019

On October 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued special permit 16320 (DOT-SP-16320) Third Edition, to Digital Wave Corporation. DOT-SP-16320 authorizes the extension of the cylinder original equipment manufacturer (OEM) 15-year service life for certain carbon-fiber reinforced aluminum-lined cylinders (DOT-CFFC) in 5-year increments, up to 15 additional years, for those devices that pass modal acoustic emissions (MAE) requalification testing.

In accordance with the NIOSH regulation, 42 CFR 84, the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) manufacturer holding the NIOSH approval establishes the SCBA service life, identifies cautions and limitations for use, and provides instructions for use and maintenance procedures. The SCBA manufacturer also has the responsibility as a NIOSH approval holder to maintain the NIOSH-approved quality control policies and procedures. SCBAs should be maintained and used in accordance with the labeling and users instructions. If used otherwise, they are NOT compliant with the NIOSH approval. This includes the extension of the OEM’s service life beyond the service life approved in the user instructions, and provided in supplemental informational inserts, on labels, and including safety precautions and warranty information. If a manufacturer chooses to apply SP-16320 to the NIOSH-approved SCBA configuration, the manufacturer must request a modification of approval from NIOSH, and seek approval of revised documentation.

Accordingly, respiratory protection program administrators and SCBA users with questions or concerns about the application of DOT-SP-16320 to NIOSH approved and deployed SCBA must review the user instructions, supplemental informational inserts, safety precautions, and SCBA warranty information provided by the NIOSH approval holder.

Without NIOSH review and approval of modified documentation, the use of MAE requalification testing to extend the service life of SCBAs that have reached the end of the service life indicated in the documentation provided by the SCBA manufacturer is not compliant with NIOSH approval for those devices.

Further questions can be addressed by the approval holder of NIOSH-approved SCBA with type CFFC originally marked with DOT-SP-10915, 10945, 11194, 13381, 13179, 13853, 14232, and 14339.

Revision table
Revision (R) Date Reason for Revision
1.0 19 February 2019 NIOSH revised this notice to update stakeholders about important information provided in SCBA user instructions, supplemental informational inserts, on labels, including safety precautions and warranty information.
Page last reviewed: February 25, 2019