HHS withdraws proposed rule on mining respirators; NIOSH issues respirator fact sheet

June 15, 2011

Washington – The Department of Health and Human Services on June 8 withdrew a proposed rule for respirator requirements for miners.

The rule would have updated quality and assurance control requirements for respirators approved under 42 CFR Part 84.

According to NIOSH, comments received generally were positive but raised questions about the economic impact of the proposed rule, prompting the agency to halt the rule. NIOSH plans to gather more information and consider alternative approaches.

NIOSH also recently issued a new fact sheet (.pdf file) explaining the advantages of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear self-contained breathing apparatus. The agency implemented a voluntary approval program for the respirators in 2001. The fact sheet summarizes SCBA standards and test procedures and how to determine if an SCBA meets NIOSH approval for CBRN protection.