United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 94-35: NIOSH Respirator User Notices, "Inadvertent Separation of the Mask-Mounted Regulator (MMR) from the Facepiece on the Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) Company MMR Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and Status Update"

UNITED STATES
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION &
OFFICE OF NUCLEAR MATERIAL SAFETY AND SAFEGUARDS
WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

May 16, 1994


NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 94-35:  NIOSH RESPIRATOR USER NOTICES, "INADVERTENT
 SEPARATION OF THE MASK-MOUNTED REGULATOR (MMR)
 FROM THE FACEPIECE ON THE MINE SAFETY
 APPLIANCES (MSA) COMPANY MMR SELF-CONTAINED
 BREATHING APPARATUS (SCBA) AND STATUS UPDATE"


Addressees

All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power
reactors, and all licensed fuel facilities.

Purpose

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this information
notice to alert addressees to two recent respirator user notices issued by the
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the
Department of Health and Human Services concerning the unexpected separation
of mask-mounted regulators from self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
facepieces during firefighting activities.  It is expected that recipients
will review the information for applicability to their facilities and consider
actions, as appropriate, to avoid similar problems.  However, suggestions
contained in this information notice are not NRC requirements; therefore, no
specific action or written response is required.

Description of Circumstances

On February 23, 1994, NIOSH issued a respirator user notice (Attachment 1)
describing factors that can contribute to the separation of mask-mounted
regulators from SCBA facepieces.  The unexpected separation of a mask-mounted
regulator could result in an individual being unprotected in an environment
that might pose an immediate threat to the life and health of that individual.
These regulators are used on mask-mounted regulator SCBA with the following
NIOSH certification numbers:  TC-13F-256, TC-13F-257, TC-13F-258, and
TC-13F-302.  The affected regulators have a quick-connect mechanism and are
designated as Mine Safety Appliances Company part number 492488.

In addition, the respirator user notice applies to certain Mine Safety
Appliances Company combination air-line and SCBA devices with the following
certification numbers: TC-13F-266 and TC-13F-267.  The affected regulators
have a quick-connect mechanism and are designated as Mine Safety Appliances
Company model number 7-1047-1.



9405110141.                                        IN 94-35
                                        May 16, 1994
                                        Page 2 of 2


Mask-mounted regulator and combination air-line and SCBA devices with
regulators that attach to the facepiece with a threaded connector are not
affected by the respirator user notice.

On March 31, 1994, NIOSH issued a respirator user notice status update
(Attachment 2), describing the development of a Neckstrap/Regulator-Retainer
Kit by Mine Safety Appliances Company and accepted by NIOSH.  This
neckstrap/regulator-retainer, when properly installed, provides a lock for the
regulator-to-facepiece connection.  The user notice update states that this
retainer must be installed on all Mine Safety Appliances Company mask-mounted
regulator respirators used at temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (F) in
order to maintain the NIOSH approval.  Although NIOSH believes that proper
maintenance will prevent these failures in warm-weather service, NIOSH
suggests continual use of the retainer to prevent further occurrences of
inadvertent regulator/facepiece separation.

Licensees may wish to share this information with other potential users, such
as local fire departments.

This information notice requires no specific action or written response.  If
you have any questions about the information in this notice, please contact
the technical contacts listed below or the appropriate Office of Nuclear
Reactor Regulation project manager.


/s/'d by Robert F. Burnett  /s/'d by Brian K. Grimes

Robert F. Burnett, Director      Brian K. Grimes, Director
Division of Fuel Cycle Safety       Division of Operating Reactor Support
  and Safeguards                  Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
Office of Nuclear Material Safety
  and Safeguards

Technical contacts:  D. R. Carter, NRR
   (301) 504-1848

                     J. Roth, NMSS
                     (301) 504-3427

Attachments:
1.  NIOSH Respirator User Notice - February 23, 1994
2.  NIOSH Respirator User Notice (Status Update) - March 31, 1994
3.  List of Recently Issued NMSS Information Notices
4.  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, November 15, 2013