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2148. ASSIGNED PROTECTION FACTORS: AMENDMENTS TO THE FINAL RULE ON RESPIRATORY PROTECTION

Priority: Other Significant

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 29 USC 657

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.134

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: In January 1998, OSHA published the final Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134), except for reserved provisions on assigned protection factors (APFs) and maximum use concentrations (MUCs). APFs are numbers that describe the effectiveness of the various classes of respirators in reducing employee exposure to airborne contaminants (including particulates, gases, vapors, biological agents, etc.). Employers, employees, and safety and health professionals use APFs to determine the type of respirator to protect the health of employees in various hazardous environments. Maximum use concentrations establish the maximum airborne concentration of a contaminant in which a respirator with a given APF may be used.

Currently, OSHA relies on the APFs developed by NIOSH in the 1980s unless OSHA has assigned a different APF in a substance-specific health standard. However, many employers follow the more recent APFs published in an industry consensus standard, ANSI Z88.2-1992. For some classes of respirators, the NIOSH and ANSI APFs vary greatly. This rulemaking action will complete the 1998 standard, reduce compliance confusion among employers, and provide employees with consistent and appropriate respiratory protection. On June 6, 2003, OSHA published an NPRM on Assigned Protection Factors in the Federal Register at 68 FR 34036 containing a proposed APF table, and requesting public comment. The extended comment period ended October 2, 2003, and an informal public hearing was held January 28-30, 2004.

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite

ANPRM 05/14/82 47 FR 20803
ANPRM Comment Period End 09/13/82  
NPRM 11/15/94 59 FR 58884
Final Rule 01/08/98 63 FR 1152
Final Rule Effective 04/08/98  
NPRM 06/06/03 68 FR 34036
NPRM Comment Period End 09/04/03  
NPRM Comment Period Extended 10/02/03 68 FR 53311
Public Hearing on 01/28/2004 11/12/03 68 FR 64036
Final Rule: Revocation of Respiratory Protection M. TB 12/31/03 68 FR 75767
Public Hearing 01/28/04  
Post-Hearing Comment and Brief Period Extended 03/30/04 69 FR 16510
Post-Hearing Comment Period End 04/29/04  
Post-Hearing Briefs End 05/29/04  
Final Action 08/24/06 71 FR 50122
Final Action Effective 11/22/06  

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No

Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal

Agency Contact: Dorothy Dougherty, Acting Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., FP Building, Room 3718, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 693-1950
Fax: 202 693-1678
Email: dougherty.dorothy@dol.gov

RIN: 1218-AA05



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