From: John Callen <jbcallen**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Respirator Cartridges: Single Purpose vs. Combination
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2021 21:10:09 -0500
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
You're more than welcome!
Here are the answers to your two questions.
i) The short answer is NO.
- ANSI/ASSE Z88.2-2015, Practices for Respiratory Protection and OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134, both detail the elements of a respiratory protection program.
- US-DHHS(CDC/NIOSH), a.k.a., "NIOSH," has the exclusive authority for testing and certification of respirator cartridges and canisters under 42 CFR Part 84, Subpart L, specifically 42 CFR =A7 84.207 - Bench tests; gas and vapor tests (Table 11).
- Since, industry, academia and government had input via written comments and government sponsored meetings into the development of the test criteria for chemical cartridges in 42 CFR 84 and its predecessor, 30 CFR 11, their standard is by default accepted industry-wide.
- In the final analysis, the testing of chemical cartridges for ammonia chlorine, chlorine dioxide, formaldehyde, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, mercury, methylamine and sulfur dioxide regarding break-through is very straight forward since we are dealing with one gas and mercury vapor. In the case of testing of chemical cartridges for organic vapors regarding break-through, NIOSH only tests the cartridges against carbon tetrachloride. Accordingly, that's where the respirator manufacturers come into the picture regarding their end-of service-life (a.k.a., break-through) programs for the most common approximately 400 organic chemicals. For any information regarding break-though for a specific gas or vapor, it is always best to contact the respirator manufacturer.
- Please remember that if you are using Respirator Manufacturer A's chemical cartridges, you cannot use the end-of-service-life programs for other manufacturers. As a case in point and for organic vapors, Respirator Manufacturer A may use activated carbon derived from coal with a sorbent bed depth of 1" and Respirator Manufacturer B may used activated carbon derived from coconut shells with a sorbent bed depth of 5/8". Both A and B cartridges pass the minimum test requirements for NIOSH approval and certification for organic vapors. That is similar to taking a test (pass/fail) in school and if your score is a minimum, at least 80%, you pass, which would be equivalent to a Grade "C." There are not any "B's" or "A's" given.
ii) The only reference or resource I know of, excluding the training and resources from the respirator manufacturers, would be the OSHA Course #2225 on Respiratory Protection. It does cover respirator certification, the detail of which I do not know.
If you have any additional questions, please let me know. Thanks!
Be Safe and Stay Healthy!
All My Best,
John B. Callen, Ph. D.
3M Personal Safety Division - Retired
ACS/DCHAS Founding Member
Thank you. Very helpful data that you shared on the DCHAS listserv regarding respirator cartridges and break-through.
Is there an ANSI or other standard regarding testing of cartridges for break-through that is accepted industry-wide?
Can you recommend any other reference book (other than the 3M respirator Selection Guide which I have) that discusses this topic?
Michael N. Cooper MS, MPH, NRRPT, CIH Industrial Hygiene Resources Ltd. 8312 W. Northview St, Suite 100 Department of Community and Environmental Health School of Allied Health Sciences, College of Health Sciences
Boise State University
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