- Standard Number:
OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.
October 22, 1997
Michael A. Reandeau, Supervisor
Illinois Power Company
Clinton Power Station
P.O. Box 678
Clinton, IL 61727
Dear Mr. Reandeau;
This is in response to your August 7 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requesting approval and acceptance of the Quickmask respirator manufactured by Fume Free, Inc. for use during "tactical situations". Your letter specifically seeks OSHA approval through a compliance Instruction dated March 30, 1984 that mentions a narrow set of conditions where OSHA might accept a product such as a cartridge or canister that is not approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
OSHA is not a respirator testing and approval agency. This responsibility belongs to NIOSH. OSHA depends heavily upon the expertise at NIOSH to evaluate respirators and their components. On rare occasions OSHA might accept a nonapproved component such as a specific cartridge or canister on an approved respirator after thorough testing and evaluation of the component indicate that workers would be adequately protected for the intended use of the respirator. In addition, the employer must demonstrate there is a strong unique need for the unapproved component in the workplace. OSHA would also require employers to conduct, air monitoring of the workers to determine the that the contaminant concentrations do not exceed the protection afforded by the respirator.
OSHA is very much concerned about workers using adequate protective equipment. Emergency use respirators are especially important to workers since they could be used under extreme conditions. The information in your request is not sufficient for us or for NIOSH to determine whether workers will be provided adequate protection when they are used. The design of the Quickmask is radically different than those presently approved by NIOSH. Since this device is so different, we advise you to continue to work with the NIOSH staff in Morgantown, West Virginia to develop evaluation criteria for its approval.
If you have any questions concerning this letter or if you want to discuss your request further, please feel free to contact Stephen Mallinger at (202) 219-8036 ext. 35.
John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs
August 7, 1997
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA)
Attn: Barry Salerlo
2918 Willow Knolls Road
Peoria, IL 61614
Subject: Acceptance for Tactical Use of the Fume Free, Inc. Quickmask® Respirator
Dear Mr. Salero:
The Clinton Power Station (CPS) nuclear security force supervisor and the CPS respiratory protection administrator have requested that the use of the "Quickmask®" manufactured by Fume Free, Inc., be allowed for use in tactical situations. Illinois Power (IP) formally request that OSHA review this product and accept it's usage for this application at CPS. Included as attachments to this letter are product specifications, evaluations, and regulatory information for use in facilitating the acceptance process.
Upon review of the code of federal regulations, regulatory guides and NUREGS, Illinois Power (IP) has found:
- NRC rules and guidance, IO CFR Part 20, NUREG 004 1, "Manual of Respiratory Protection Against Airborne Radio-Materials," and Regulatory Guide 8.15, "Acceptance Programs for Respiratory Protection," require MSHANIOSH approval for respirators used for protection against airborne radioactivity. NRC regulations do not address "non-radiological" respiratory protection. However, NRC regulations do provide provisions to take exceptions regarding respiratory protection.
- OSHA rule, 29 CFR Part 1910.134 requires MSHA/NIOSH approval for all respirators used for protection against airborne hazards. However, OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.20A, Office of Health Compliance Assistance, Section (L)(3)(b), page V-20 allows exceptions for respirators that cannot be tested by MSHA/NIOSH and can be evaluated and accepted by OSHA.
IP is currently pursuing OSHA response and acceptance in accordance with Instruction CPL 2-2.20A, Office of Health Compliance Assistance Section (L)(3)(b), page V-20 (included as Attachment 1) for allowing the use of the Quickmask' for a security tactical emergency. Currently, NIOSH has not tested this equipment because it does not fall into any current categories available by that agency (letter included as Attachment 2). IEP has reviewed it's applicable Licensing documents. These documents have limited references to NIOSH acceptance. The references found are for the use of emergency Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) equipment. There are no other references to NIOSH approval.
Included for your review is information provided by Fume Free, Inc. (included as Attachment 3). Information from various agencies which have directly evaluated and tested this equipment is included as Attachment 4. If clarifications are needed regarding intended mask usage at CPS, please contact me at (217) 935-8881, extension 3448. If additional information regarding the Quickmask® is required, the Fume Free, Inc. contact is Todd Resnick, President at (561) 221-4624.
Michael A. Reandeau
Supervisor - Licensing Administration
March 7, 1996
Mr. Todd A. Resnick
Fume Free Inc.
3333 Tressler Drive, Suite H
Stuart, Florida 34994
Dear Mr. Resnick:
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has reviewed your request of February 23, 1996, regarding the QuickMask.
In our judgement, this product falls into the category of a respiratory protective escape device (RPED) . There are no standards in our current. regulations to address or evaluate this type of product. Our standards are intended to evaluate half mask, full face mask, hood or helmet respirators commonly used in industry. Without going into an exhaustive evaluation, your product has obvious design differences which prevent having it fit into present respirator categories. For example: Hooded respirators must contain a blower. Those with full face masks, hoods, or helmets must be designed to provide adequate vision which is not distorted by the eyepieces (viewing area) - Also, those with half masks must be designed so as not to interfere with the fit of common industrial safety corrective spectacles.
The Institute recognizes that there may be a need for respirator devices such as yours. Several parties have expressed interests for an approval schedule for these devices. The Institute plans to hold two public meetings this Spring to consider and Prioritize areas of the regulations needing updated or added. Recommendations from these meetings will lead to standards improvements on a priority basis. You are encouraged to participate. For information on this, you may contact Mr. Roland Berry Ann at (304) 285-5907 or at the letterhead address.
William A. Hoffman, Chief
Air Purifying Respirator Section
Certification and Quality
Division of Safety Research