May 11, 2023

NIOSH Highlights Recent Notices Regarding Respirator Approval, Safety

Several announcements regarding respirator approval and safety were recently added to the respirator user notices page of the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) website, which lists communications from manufacturers regarding conditions or risks that may exist with NIOSH-certified products. The notices have to do with certain surgical N95 respirators, certain NIOSH respirator approvals, powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) battery storage considerations, and some universal emergency breathing safety system (UEBSS) and emergency breathing safety system (EBSS) accessory hoses.

A voluntary stoppage of sale and delivery of certain O&M Halyard surgical N95 respirators went into effect on April 12. According to a communication issued by O&M Halyard, the company is investigating potential issues related to fluid resistance and particulate filtration. Further recommendations are available from the Food and Drug Administration.

NIOSH also announced that it has honored the request of Honeywell International Inc. to voluntarily rescind certain NIOSH respirator approvals issued to it. As of April 14, respirators bearing the approval numbers listed in the agency’s notice are no longer NIOSH approved and may no longer be used, manufactured, assembled, sold, or distributed. The agency directs individuals to contact Honeywell International regarding inquiries about the decision to voluntarily rescind these approvals.

Similarly, NIOSH has honored a request by E.D. Bullard Company to voluntarily rescind 24 of its respirator approvals. The full list of affected approval numbers can be found in the notice issued by NIOSH, which directs individuals with questions to E.D. Bullard Company for additional details regarding its decision.

A safety notice (PDF) issued by 3M Scott Fire & Safety in April is intended to make users of the 3M Scott Air-Pak SCBA, RIT-Pak III, or RIT-PAK Fast Attack aware of UEBSS or EBSS systems that may have incorrectly crimped hose connections. The notice affects systems attached to SCBA, RIT-Paks, or spare service components manufactured during and between January 2022 through July 2022.

In April, the manufacturer AirBoss Defense Group (ADG) reminded users and entities that store the FlexAir PAPR System of battery maintenance and long-term storage requirements. Relevant instructions can be found in the company’s user notice (PDF).

These and other recent respirator-related notices can also be found on the NPPTL website.