February 28, 2019

NIOSH Issues Updates to Respirator Conformity Assessments

The NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory informed the respirator manufacturer community and other stakeholders this week of new information related to conformity assessments for NIOSH-approved respirators.

Beginning tomorrow, March 1, a revisio​​n to labeling requirements will go into effect for air-purifying and powered air-purifying respirators submitted for NIOSH approval. The requirement set out in a letter to respirator manufacturers dated July 19, 1995, stipulated that separate approval labels must be placed on both filters and cartridges. A new “conformity assessment interpretation notice” states that NIOSH “will no longer require applicants to provide separate full filter and cartridge labels” beginning March 1.

A separate “conformity assessment notice” consolidates and updates information about the content and meaning of a NIOSH respirator approval. NIOSH will issue approvals only for complete respirator assemblies or combination respirator assemblies that meet the minimum requirements set forth in the regulation. Only the NIOSH approval holder is authorized to use the NIOSH approval label, and that holder is obligated to define proper use and maintenance procedures, maintain the production quality, and provide replacement parts in accordance with the approval.

NIOSH has also revised​ its August 2018 conformity assessment notice to update stakeholders about important information provided in user instructions for self-contained breathing apparatus, supplemental informational inserts, and on labels, including safety precautions and warranty information.