Concept for CBRN Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) Standard


June 20, 2005

1. Purpose

Specify minimum requirements for powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) that address CBRN materials identified as inhalation and/or possible terrorist hazards for emergency response activities (fire service, law enforcement, and emergency medical technicians) as well as others in potential CBRN environments.

In response to acts of terrorism and other natural disasters, air-purifying respirators are used to provide respiratory protection in work areas where the hazards are known, characterized and conditions of oxygen deficiency do not exist. Respirator use under these conditions must also be sufficient to provide for contingency use in the event of a secondary device or if additional unknown hazards are encountered exposing the responder to unexpected hazards. In these unexpected situations, the air-purifying respirator must be capable of delivering breathing protection as the responder escapes from the area.

This CBRN standard also needs to be universal in defining performance based requirements that meet the widely varying needs of hazard protection, work rate and comfort. In terms of PAPR requirements and respirators in general these needs can represent competing performance requirements. For example, work rates have an influence on physical size and weight of the respirator, which can affect the filter size, weight and comfort. In addition, the hazard protection required can range from fully known and characterized conditions to the unknown and uncharacterized hazards of the unforeseen event requiring immediate escape.

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Page last reviewed: June 18, 2004