From: John Callen <jbcallen**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Respirator physicals?
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:58:15 -0500
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: 832BFB93-02B5-4005-B16D-BCB8C0802C66**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <000501d670b5$29d03230$7d709690$**At_Symbol_Here**>

Jim, Joe, Roger & ALL,

What I relate below certainly dates me, but that is why you keep Monona and me around to "Stir the Pot."

You remind me of the Good O;' Days when we always took things very seriously (and not that people don't today) regarding respiratory protection regardless whether it was nuclear or non-nuclear.  Those were the days when health physicists, industrial hygienists and safety professionals had the top authority and controlled the reins of respiratory protection equipment instead of differing to materials management and/or purchasing personnel or even distributors.

I had the privilege and honor of meeting and knowing K. Paul Steinmeyer, RRPT first when he worked at Northeast Utilities (1979 - 1984) and thereafter at Radiation Safety Associates, Inc. (Hebron, CT).  He was part of the group of "Legends in Their Own Time" I knew back in the mid-1970's through 1980's as Alan Hack, Ed Hyatt and John Pritchard at Los Alamos, Larry Birkner (deceased) at Celanese Corporation/ARCO, Howard Cohen, Ph.D. at Olin Corporation/Yale University, Craig Colton at OSHA Training Institute/3M and Tom Nelson at DuPont/NIHS, Inc. and where they worked at that time.

It was at the time when I had responsibility for calling on and working together with health physicists, industrial hygienists and safety professionals at Consolidated Edison, Northeast Utilities and New York State Power Authority nuclear and fossil fuel sites.  I even worked with Stone and Webster during the construction of Millstone III helping to train and fit test the construction workers on respiratory protection equipment.  For all of these, NO medical clearance with spirometry, NO training with an exam (YES, an exam) and NO fit testing for tight-fitting respirators meant NO RESPIRATOR!  Also and as a corollary for fit-testing, tight-fitting respirator wearers had to be clean shaven so that facial hair did not interfere with the sealing surface of the respirator faceiece or interfere with valve function.  That meant NO 5 O'Clock shadow on up to a full beard with wiskers for men and NO "peach fuzz" for women (special case)! 

I would strongly suggest that everyone as part of the Division of Chemical Health & Safety, regardless of current responsibilities, read and thoroughly understand the contents of USNRC 10 CFR 20, specifically Subpart H (Sections 20.1701 - 20.1705) and also NUREG/CR-0041 Revision 1.  These documents are readily available online.  I always carried around with me the paper copies of the 1980's editions (My Bibles), which dates me long before laptops and the internet.

Also Jim, going back to 1970's and until I am "blue in the face" in 2020 today, how many times I have had to repeat and repeat, "A Surgical Mask does not provide respiratory protection but rather helps provide asepsis, a physical barrier between the wearer and the work environment or sterile field."  This certainly applies to the "creative masks or face shields" individuals or companies are making to "help" with the social distancing.

Be Safe, Sound, Vigilant and Well!

All My Best,

John B. Callen, Ph.D.
3M Personal Safety Division - Retired
ACS/DCHAS Founding Member
(312) 632-0195

On Aug 12, 2020, at 9:30 AM, James Keating <james.k.keating**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM> wrote:

Plutonium is a genuine serious toxic and radiological exposure risk, it is not some Covid 19 (Flu).
I would suggest a Certified Health Physicist (CHP) as the person to develop and implement a respiratory program for plutonium exposure control.
Regulations that apply here are USNRC 10 CFR 20 for radiation protection. This far more strict than just a respiratory protection program in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.134.
In your case there were also DOE requirements that are basically the same as 10CFR20.
By the way, These Corona virus paper and cloth handkerchiefs are in no way shape or form respirators. They are placebo for the general public. These handkerchiefs will probably exacerbate the risk of contracting the virus through inhalation. Moreover, the Covid 10 organisms are so small in relation to the weave of these face masks that they will pass through. Then almost all of the air exhaled will take the path of least resistance (differential pressure) and be forced through the gap between the face and mask and into the eyes.
These typical medical paper masks are worn to prevent water droplets containing the virus or bacteria from reaching a patient when a doctor or nurse coughs or sneezes when close to that patient. They are not designed to protector the doctor. 
The handling of this "pandemic" should have been handled by high risk people (very old and already severely compromised persons taking responsibility and quarantining themselves. While those not at serious risk move on and continue to work, get this flu, get over it and allow "Herd" immunity to solve the problem as is the case with seasonal flu problems.
If that were the policy from the beginning we would be past this "crisis" by now.
What we have done is extend the crisis by our state policies. 
Jim Keating
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU> On Behalf Of Roger McClellan
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2020 8:02 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Respirator physicals?
 I am uncertain of the basis for  rules that curtail important services at a time when they are most needed.
Decades ago I was faced with a ridiculous situation that pushed me to take drastic action for a research laboratory, the Lovelace Inhalation Toxicology Research Institute in Albuquerque, NM.  ITRI had 225 to 250 employees including about 40 doctoral staff and was funded by the US Department of Energy My solution was to replace our RN with a Nurse Practitioner  and conduct all medical exams in an on site clinic. Previously, the medical exams had been conducted off  site by an MD at our health care providers clinic. The on site exams included spirometric assessments on all employees irrespective of whether their work involved masks or more elaborate protective gear. As an aside , we worked with Plutonium and other nasty materials as aerosols . (As an aside, an aerosol is a relatively stable suspension of particles and/or droplets in a gaseous media, a definition lost in the current Covid-19 crisis.) 
The spirometry results helped convince a lot of individuals to quit smoking. Employees really liked the NP  and I still cross paths with former employees who relate that medical conditions, not work related, but identified in the on site clinic had huge impact on their health.   I had a highly qualified Occupational MD provide oversight for a few hours a month. The on site NP worked closely with our Health and Environmental Safety Unit staffed with two professionals (with lots of training and credientals) and three technicians. The Head of our Health and Safety unit had authority that included lock down of any laboratory or operation irrespective of the rank of the staff responsible for the lab. Technicians were eager to get on the Institute's  Health And Safety Committee and be part of the Institute's overall health and safety efforts.
I am disappointed when I learn the limited authority many CHAS members have in their academic positions.
Best regards,
   Roger O. McClellan
On Monday, August 10, 2020, 04:28:17 PM MDT, pzavon**At_Symbol_Here**ROCHESTER.RR.COM <pzavon**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote: 
Look more closely at the OSHA regulation on this. Most people can be adequately assessed by using a questionnaire, a clunky example of which is in that regulatory appendix, if I recall correctly.

Peter Zavon, CIH
Penfield, NY


-----Original Message-----
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU> On Behalf Of DCHAS Membership Chair
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2020 4:55 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Respirator physicals?

From: Joseph Peters <joseph.peters**At_Symbol_Here**>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2020 20:06:57 +0000
Re: Respirator physicals?

We are currently trying to qualify two of our employees for respirator use.

All of our employees who are required to use respirators have had physicals (including spirometry) to ensure that they are physically able to use an Air Purifying Respirator (APR) and SCBA.  Once they pass the physical, they are fit tested and trained on the proper use and care of the respiratory equipment.

We scheduled appoints with our occupational safety and health provider and were told that they are not allowed to conduct spirometry evaluations at this time due to COVID restrictions.

Have any members of the group experienced this and if so, how were they able to certify employees for respirator use in the absence of spirometry?

BTW, we are located in Massachusetts.


Joseph C. Peters, PE
Senior Director - Process Technology |  Technip Energies P  +1 781 340 2901  |  M  +1 617 620 7120 Joseph.peters**At_Symbol_Here**

56 Woodrock Road |  E. Weymouth, MA |  02189

This email has been sent by or on behalf of TechnipFMC plc, a company registered in England and Wales with registered no. 09909709, and with its registered office address at One St. Paul's Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AP, or one of its subsidiaries.

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