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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1029

September 6, 1990

MEMORANDUM FOR: CYNTHIA WOLFE
               Assistant Regional Administrator
               for Technical Support

THROUGH:        LEO CAREY, Director
               Office of Field Coordination

FROM:           PATRICIA K. CLARK, Director Designate
               Directorate of Compliance Programs

SUBJECT:        Coke Oven Emissions
This memorandum responds to the questions concerning coke oven emissions contained in the June 7 memorandum your office received from the Birmingham Area Office. Your office transmitted the memorandum to my office by cover memorandum dated June 11.

Question 1:

Are coke oven emissions a complex mixture of particulates, vapors, gases and fumes?

Answer:

The preamble to the standard for Exposure To Coke Oven Emissions, 29 CFR 1910.1029, describes coke oven emissions as a complex mixture of particulates, vapors and gases. The preamble does not distinguish between the types of particulates present in coke oven emissions, but fume is present.

Question 2:

Are organic vapors which contain carcinogens produced and/or given off during the coking process?

Answer:

Yes.

Question 3:

If the answer to 1 and 2 above is yes, will a particulate respirator for dust and mist provide the proper protection?

Answer:

According to the standard for exposure to coke oven emissions, respirators approved for protection against dust and mist by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provide proper protection. This is allowable only if the respirator is not a single-use or a disposable respirator. No single-use or disposable respirator may be used to protect employees against coke oven emissions.

Question 4:

Is the 3M 9900 (Approval No. TC-21C-176) approved for coke oven emissions?

Answer:

No. There are no respirators approved by NIOSH for coke oven emissions. The 3M 9900 is approved by NIOSH for dust and mist but Table I in the standard for exposure to coke oven emissions prohibits the use of single-use respirators for protecting employees. The 3M 9900 is an example of the type of respirator identified by OSHA as a single-use respirator. OSHA has determined that non-powered, air-purifying respirators with nonelastomeric facepieces, such as the 3M 9900, are prone to have greater leakage at the sealing edges and do not provide as high a protection factor as their counterparts with elastomeric facepieces.

Question 5:

Are fumes still considered a hazard in the coke manufacturing process?

Answer:

The preamble to the standard for exposure to coke oven emissions does not give separate attention to the nature of the health hazard of fume produced in the coke production process. The degree of health hazard posed by coke oven emissions is indicated by the airborne concentration of the benzene soluble fraction of total particulate matter (BSFTPM). When the standard was first published in the Federal Register on October 22, 1976, Table I, listing the required respiratory protection for coke oven emissions, stated that respirators for dust, mist and fume were required. This was an error, however, and a correction document published in the Federal Register on January 18, 1977, corrected the table to state that only dust and mist respirators are required.

Question 6:

Which class of respirators is recommended for protection against coke oven emissions by OSHA and NIOSH?

Answer:

The original intent of the standard for exposure to coke oven emissions was to require by January 20, 1979, only respirators approved by NIOSH for protection against coke oven emissions must be used. NIOSH never approved any respirators for protection against coke oven emissions, however. Consequently, as indicated in the answer to question (3), respirators, except single-use respirators, that are approved by NIOSH for dust and mist comply with the standard.

Since coke oven emissions contain carcinogens, NIOSH recommends that positive pressure, atmosphere-supplying respirators be used for protection against exposure.





June 7, 1990
MEMORANDUM FOR:     Cynthia Wolfe
                   Assistant Regional Administrator
                   For Technical Support

FROM:               Raymond G. Finney, Area Director

SUBJECT:            Respirator protection and use at Coke Plants;
                   and enforcement/application of 1910.1029(g).
During a recent inspection of a Coke manufacturing facility a compliance officer recorded over exposures to coke oven emissions. The employer provided the 3M 9900 Dust/Mist Respirator to his employees for protection.

Questions have arisen as a result of the inspection as to whether or not the 3M 9900 Dust/Mist Respirator or any particulate respirator is approved for protection against coke oven emissions.

The following questions have been posed regarding applicability of portions of 29 CFR 1910.1029(g):

(1)

Are coke oven emissions a complex mixture of particulates, vapors, gases and fumes?

(2)

Are organic vapors which contain carcinogens produced and/or given off during the coking process?

(3)

If the answer to 1 and 2 above is yes, will a particulated respirator for Dust and Mist provide the proper protection?

(4)

Is the 3M 9900 (Approval No. TC-21C-176) approved for coke oven emission?

(5)

The initial standard (effective date January 1977) required that respirators be selected from among those approved for protection against dust, fume and mist approved by NIOSH under prevision of 30 CFR Part II. In the recent revision to 1910.1029 fumes had been omitted from the requirement of Table I. Are fumes still considered a hazard in the coke manufacturing process?

(6)

NIOSH states that no particulate respirator is approved for protection against atmospheres which contain carcinogens. 29 CFR 1910.1029(g)( iii) states that "..., the employer shall select respirators from among those approved by NIOSH for protection against coke oven emission." Which class of respirators is recommended for protection against coke oven emissions by OSHA and NIOSH?

On May 3, 1990, Horace McCann called 3M Occupational Safety and Health Products Division, Technical Service and spoke with Mr. Carl Rogan, Mr. Rogan said the 9900 was recommended by 3M for dust containing CTPV's up to ten times the PEL. Mr. Rogan said if the dust is high in benzene solubles (>PEL) then the organic vapor respirator is recommended.

Mr. McCann spoke to Mr. Rogan of coke oven emissions consisting of a complex mixture of particulates, vapors, gases and fumes. Mr. Rogan maintained that one must have a metal present to have fumes, Mr. McCann did not totally agree with Mr. Rogan's statement.

Mr. Rogan said before a recommendation is made he would ask the customer what were the components of the dust. He said in most cases the customer does not know.

Mr. Rogan was asked about NIOSH recommendation which stated that dust respirators should not be worn in atmospheres which contains carcinogens. Mr. Rogan said that this is a complete turn-around by NIOSH.

On May 23, 1990, a closing conference was held at Sloss Industries. The possibility that the plant would receive a citation for improper selection and use of respirators was discussed with management and the union (United Steelworkers of America, Local 12014). The union was very concerned that it's employees had not been properly protected against carcinogens.

Management stated that the 3M 9900 was widely used in the coke manufacturing industry, and any change in respirator use would effect the whole industry. Mr. Dale Gilbert, Plant Manager - Coke ovens, said he is also a member of American Coke and Coal Chemical Institute and the chairman of it's Manufacturing and Environmental Safety and Health Committee.

The union said it will take the matter as high as necessary to get it's members properly protected.

On May 29, 1990, Horace McCann received a phone call from Mr. Paul Noto, a salesman for 3M company who works in Birmingham. Mr. Noto said he had spoken with Dan Bell of Sloss Industries concerning the 3M 9900 dust/mist respirator. Mr. Noto said he had been recommending the 3M 9900 dust/mist respirator to his customers based on the OSHA standard 1910.1029(g) Table I and based on recommendations for an OSHA compliance officer.

During the course of this conversation Mr. Noto phoned Mr. Jim Kvikstad, Technical Service Specialist, 3M Occupational Health and Environmental Safety Division of Saint Paul, Minnesota. The three discussed the 3M 9900 dust/mist respirator. Mr. Kvikstad said he would like to be contacted when OSHA makes a final decision.



April 9, 1990

Mr. Dan Bell
Project Engineer
Sloss Industries
P.O. Box 5327
Birmingham AL 35207

Dear Mr Bell:

Regarding your request for documentation regarding the use limitations of the 3M dust/mist respirator #9900 and comparing it to a dual cartridge respirator with replaceable filters.

The 3M dust/mist respirator #9900 is NIOSH/MSHA approved as a particulate filtering half-mask. In the approval schedule, 30 CFR part 11, there is no differentiation between dual cartridge respirators and "all filter" respirators such as the 9900. Thus the #9900 dust/mist respirator may be used in atmospheres of dusts and mists whose PEL is not less than 0.05 mg/m3, up to concentrations of 10 times the PEL.

Additionally, the #9900 dust/mist respirator is classified by NIOSH as a "single use type" respirator. This means that the respirator can be used until the filter becomes loaded, or the respirator becomes damaged. At this point, the respirator is discarded and replaced with a new one. This is not to be confused with the "single use approved" respirators which can be used for lung damaging dusts only, and are disallowed in some OSHA standards. The 9900 is not single use approved, but as discussed above, is approved as dust/mist respirator.

If you have further questions, please call me at (612) 736-9171.

Thank you for your interest in our products.

Very truly yours,

J.A. Kvikstad
Technical Service Specialist
3M Occupational Health & Environmental Safety Division




ATTACHMENT I
NARRATIVE OF CONVERSATIONS RELATE TO RESPIRATOR USE AND SELECTION
FOR COKE OVEN EMISSION

During a recent inspection of a coke oven plant in the Birmingham area, Horace McCann of this office recorded the following over exposures to coke oven emission 490ug/m3 (Lidman), 170ug/m3 (Door Cleaner Push Side), and 160ug/m3 (Larry Car Operator).

The employer provided all employees the 3M Toxic Dust Respirator 9900 (Approval Number TC-21C-176). The approval is for dust and mist. 3M list the respirator as "Reusable-approved by NIOSH/MESA for three full eight hour work shifts."

NIOSH Certified Equipment List as of December 31, 1989, list the 9900 (same approval number) as a single use respirator. NIOSH has granted the 3M 9900 another approval number (TC-21C-410) for dust and mist. The approval states that the 9900 is no longer permitted for use against dust and mist containing asbestos. This approval also states single use.

CFR 1910.1029(g) Table I states that for concentrations not greater than 1500ug/m3, "any particulate filter respirator for dust and mist except single use respirator;..." The employer at the coke plant stated that OSHA said he could use the 3M 9900 respirator for exposures not greater than 1500ug/m3. The employer also said this respirator was recommended by 3M for use at his coke plant.

NIOSH Respirator Certification Branch was called concerning the use of the 3M 9900 respirator for coke oven emission. Mr. Coffee of NIOSH stated that only Type C respirators are approved for protection against carcinogens. Mr. Coffee stated that no dust and mist respirator is approved for protection against coke oven emission.

On April 5, 1990, a three way telephone conference was held between Ching-tsen Bien of National Office Technical Support, Ben Ross of Regional IV Technical Support and Horace McCann, Industrial Hygienist of Birmingham Area Office. The above was discussed. It was concluded and agreed upon that the 3M 9900 did not provide protection against coke oven emission and a citation should be issued.

Mr. Bien of National Office Technical Support stated that at a minimum, high-efficiency filter respirator with organic cartridges should be used. Mr. Bien was not in full agreement with NIOSH's policy on respirator selection in atmospheres containing carcinogens.


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

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