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Information Notice No. 83-68: Respirator User Warning: Defective Self-contained Breathing Apparatus Air Cylinders
SSINS No.: 6835 IN 83-68 UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION OFFICE OF INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 October 11, 1983 Information Notice No. 83-68: RESPIRATOR USER WARNING: DEFECTIVE SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS AIR CYLINDERS Addressees: All nuclear power reactor facilities holding an operating license (OL) or construction permit (CP), research and test reactors, fuel cycle licensees, and Priority 1 material licensees. Purpose: This information notice is provided to alert licensees of a serious, potential defect in certain self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) fiberglass-wound aluminum cylinders which contain high-pressure (4500 psi) air. Should a cylinder fracture, serious injury or death and/or property damage could result. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has issued a Respirator Users Warning. It is expected that licensees will review this information for applicability to their facility respiratory protection program. No specific action or response is required. Description of Circumstances: The NRC has recently learned of a serious defect found in certain SCBA's high-pressure air cylinders. A small number of fiberglass-wound aluminum cylinders manufactured since mid-1982 for Scott Aviation and Survivair (and possibly others) by Luxfer USA Limited have experienced cracking around the neck of the cylinder. In two cases, the defective cylinders ruptured but no injuries were reported. The manufacturer reported in a July 14, 1983 letter to its distributors/end users that all the incidents have involved cylinders from the same manufacturing batch bearing Serial Numbers WF 20321 through 21548 (Scott Cylinder Part No. 802239-01 for Air-Pak 4.5) and WA 43160 through 50178 [Survivair Cylinder Part No. 9161-00 used in 9845 Mark I Series and 9840 Mark II Series (30 min.)]. NIOSH issued a Respirator Users Warning on July 21, 1983 (see Attachment No. 1). NIOSH's "Guidelines for Reporting Respirator Problems" are provided as Attachment No. 2. At the manufacturer's request, the product recall notice was issued by the Department of Transportation's Office of Hazardous Material Regulation on August 11, 1983 by publication in the Federal Register (Vol. 48, No. 156, p. 36559). 8308300761 . IN 83-68 October 11, 1983 Page 2 of 2 The manufacturer, in a July 14 letter to its distributors/end users, made the following three recommendations in dealing with the cylinders bearing the above serial numbers: (1) If the cylinder has been filled, its entire contents should be vented in order to relieve internal pressure. (2) These vented cylinders should be retained and segregated from all other cylinders by being placed in a secure place and marked conspicuously with a tag bearing the notation "DO NOT USE" or a similar warning. (3) Under no circumstances should any of the cylinders in question be sold, filled, refilled, or used for any purpose. Although the NRC fully supports the manufacturer's recommended precautionary actions, licensees are reminded that if any affected cylinders are fulfilling 10 CFR 50 emergency preparedness, control room backup air, or fire protection requirements, then appropriate compensatory air supplies must be provided. Copies of Scott Aviation and Survivair warning letters to their customers (presented in Attachment Nos. 3 and 4) are attached to provide further information. If you have any questions concerning this problem, please call the number listed on the appropriate customer warning letter, or contact the Regional Administrator of the appropriate NRC Regional Office, or this office. Edward L. Jordan Director Division of Emergency Preparedness and Engineering Response Office of Inspection and Enforcement Technical Contacts: J. E. Wigginton, IE (301) 492-4967 L. Hendricks, RES (301) 443-9790 Attachments: 1. NIOSH Respirator Users Warning 2. NIOSH Guidelines for Reporting Respirator Problems 3. Scott Aviation Letter 4. Survivair Letter 5. List of Recently Issued IE Information Notices .
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