Information Notice No. 83-68: Respirator User Warning: Defective Self-contained Breathing Apparatus Air Cylinders
SSINS No.: 6835
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
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.
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).
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
(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
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
L. Hendricks, RES
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
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 22, 2015