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• Standard Number: 1910.134

November 15, 1985

MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
THRU: JOHN B. MILES, Director
Directorate of Field Operations
FROM: STEPHEN J. MALLINGER, Acting Director
Directorate of Technical Support
SUBJECT: Use of Bureau of Mines Approved Gas Mask Canisters

We have received several inquiries concerning the use of Bureau of Mines approved gas mask canisters. These canisters were approved under the Bureau of Mines Schedule 14F for protection against many highly toxic substances such as hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen cyanide and phosphine. All these canisters were approved for concentrations far above their respective immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) values and none of these compounds has adequate odor warning properties for the respirator wearer to detect excessive facepiece leakage or sorbent breakthrough.

Although the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have extended the expiration date for the Bureau of Mines approved gas mask canisters, NIOSH indicated that they could not conduct quality control testing on these canisters to assure that the performance meets the certification requirements.

In view of the above facts, it is concluded that the Bureau of Mines approved gas mask canisters for protection against hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen cyanide and phosphine may not provide adequate margin of safety to the respirator wearers. Their use for other than emergency escape is not acceptable.


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