(December 17, 2013) Manufacturers of respirators and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) recently received notification from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that errors were made by the government when testing and certifying respirators. It calls into question the ability that they meet NIOSH and NFPA standards for protection against chemical warfare agents.
The NIOSH notice states that agents used in testing from July 2012 through October 2013 were less than that required by NIOSH test procedures and therefore SCBA cannot be validated as in compliance with the CBRN standards until retesting is completed. NIOSH is working with both SCBA manufactures and NFPA to address the issue.
It is recommended that emergency service organizations review the NIOSH Respirators User Notice carefully.