Approved Respirator Standards

Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) with Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Protection used to Protect Emergency Responders Against CBRN Agents in Terrorist Attacks

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a program to approve self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for use by fire fighters and other first responders to terrorist attacks. NIOSH approval under the program signifies that an SCBA is expected to provide needed protection to first responders in situations where an act of terror has released harmful chemicals, pathogens, or radioactive materials into the air. Approvals are based on positive results from rigorous tests on sample units submitted to NIOSH by manufacturers, and from stringent evaluation of manufacturers’ quality control practices, technical specifications, and other documentation.

June 3, 2002NIOSH Update: NIOSH Issues First Approval Under Program for Certifying Emergency Responder Respirators

January 14, 2002NIOSH Update: NIOSH To Approve Self-Contained Respirators for Emergency Workers in Terrorist Attacks

December 28, 2001Letter to all Respirator Manufacturers: Acceptance of Applications for the Testing and Evaluation of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus for Use Against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Agents

Statement of Standard

Statement of Standard – Attachment A pdf icon[PDF – 64 KB]

Statement of Standard – Attachment B pdf icon[PDF – 208 KB]

View the Standard Respirator Testing Procedures.

The documents below are provided for historical purposes only:

December 14, 2001 – Determination of Open-Circuit, Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Performance During Dynamic Testing Against Chemical Agents of Sarin (GB) Vapor and Distilled Sulfur Mustard (HD) Vapor and Liquid Standard Testing Procedure (STP) – Attachment B pdf icon[PDF – 1.9 MB]

November 17, 2001 – Laboratory Respirator Protection Level Test Quantitative (High-Flow Deep Probe Corn Oil) for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus With Full Facepieces Standard Testing Procedure (STP) – Attachment C pdf icon[PDF – 442 KB]

Page last reviewed: January 31, 2018