Respiratory Standards


OSHA - Occupational Safety & Health Administration
NIOSH - National Institute Occupational Safety & Health
ANSI - American National Standards Institute
CGA - Compressed Gas Association


POA - Point of Attachment: A Pressure Gage, regulator, relief valve, and congruous fitting are necessary to be considered a POA.
Reference: 42CFR Part 84 Subpart J .149.
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Regulator allows adjustment of air pressure to manufacturer’s specified pressure range based on range of hose length used (see 84.149 (b)).

Pressure gauge allows verification of this pressure setting at the point of attachment (see 84.149 (b)).

Pressure relief valve prevents pressure from exceeding 125 psi (see 84149 (d) (1)).

Congruous fitting allows connection of “Detachable couplings” as part of NIOSH approved respirator system (see 84.131 (5)).

The maximum length of hose allowed from the “Point of Attachment” to the worker is 300 ft. (91m) for type C Supplied Air Respirators. This hose must be provided in multiples of 25 ft. (7.6m).
Reference: 42CFR Part 84 Subpart J.149 - Table 8, Air Supply-Line Requirements and Tests

Federal Standard for Breathing Air
42CFR84.141 42 is the Department of Public Health. 84 is the Approval of Respiratory Protective Devices.

OSHA Standard for Respiratory Protection
29CFR1910.134 29 is the Department of Labor. CFR means Code of Federal Regulation. 1910 is the OSHA section. 134 is the Respiratory Protection section.

OSHA Standard for Confined Space
Definition of a permit required confined space:

  1. A space that is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; and
  2. Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (for example tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, and pits are spaces that may have limited means of entry); and
  3. Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.
Reference: 29CFR1910.146(b)

OSHA Standard for Lead in Construction
The 88VX Series Abrasive Blasting Respirator has been approved for this application.
Reference: August 30, 1995 OSHA Interpretation Letter

Grade D Breathing Air Specifications
The complete specifications are detailed in ANSI/Compressed Gas Association Commodity Specification for Air, G-7.1-1989, which include:

  • Oxygen Content of 19.5-23.5%
  • Hydrocarbon (condensed) content of 5 milligrams per cubic meter of air or less
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) content of 10 ppm or less
  • Carbon dioxide content of 1,000 ppm or less; and
  • Lack of noticeable odor
Reference: 29CFR1910.134(i)(1)(ii)

In Canada the requirements include:
  • Oxygen Content of 20-22%
  • Hydrocarbon (condensed) content of 1 milligram per cubic meter of air or less
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) content of 5 ppm or less
  • Carbon dioxide content of 500 ppm or less; and
  • Lack of noticeable odor

Requirements for a Breathing Air Compressor
It must be constructed and situated so as to:

  1. Prevent entry of contaminated air into the air-supply system.
  2. Minimize moisture content so that the dew point at 1 atmosphere pressure is 10 degrees F (5.56 C) below the ambient temperature.
  3. Have suitable in-line air-purifying sorbent beds and filters to further ensure breathing air quality. Sorbent beds and filters shall be maintained and replaced or refurbished periodically following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Have a tag containing the most recent change date and the signature of the person authorized by the employer to perform the change. The tag shall be maintained at the compressor.
Reference: 29CFR1910.134(i)(5)

Monitoring Requirements of a Supplied Air System
For supplied air systems that are not oil-lubricated (such as with Bullard Free-Air® Pumps), the employer shall ensure that carbon monoxide levels in the breathing air do not exceed 10ppm. Reference: 29CFR1910.134(i)(6)

Bullard Free-Air® Pumps are not oil-lubricated and do not require carbon monoxide monitoring. Reference: OSHA Memo to Regional Administrators January 25, 1985

“Since these compressors are not oil lubricated, a high temperature alarm to indicate overheating or the presence of high levels of carbon monoxide may not be required.”

The Bullard “Free-air Air Pump” and the Willson “Ambient Breathing Apparatus” are acceptable provided the following requirements are met:

  1. These devices are not to be used in an atmosphere which is immediately dangerous to life or health.
  2. Air used for this equipment must be drawn from an uncontaminated air source. Suitable filters and sorbents shall be installed and maintained when the need arises.
  3. The air delivered by the compressor at the Breathing zone of the SAR wearer must meet the requirements of Grade D Breathing air as prescribed in 29 CFR 1910.134[(i)(1)(ii)].
For supplied air systems with oil-lubricated compressors the employer shall use a high-temperature or carbon monoxide alarm, or both, to monitor carbon monoxide levels. If only high-temperature alarms are used, the air supply shall be monitored at intervals sufficient to prevent carbon monoxide in the breathing air from exceeding 10 ppm. Reference: 29CFR1910.134(i)(7)

Bullard Clean Air Boxes can provide the filtering to reduce hydrocarbons to 5 mg per cubic meter or less and continuously monitor for carbon monoxide to ensure levels of 10ppm (5ppm for Canada) or less. Optional oxygen monitors are also available.

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