Firefighter Training, Health & Safety

NIOSH Approves Interspiro Models Spiromatic S3 And Spirotek S3 9030, 6630, And 4530 Respirators For Use By Emergency Responders Against CBRN

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on January 24, 2003, approved the Interspiro Models Spiromatic S3 and Spirotek S3 9030, 6630, and 4530 respirators for occupational use by emergency responders against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents.

The devices are manufactured by Interspiro USA, Inc, Branford, CT. They are open-circuit, pressure-demand self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) that provide users with air from a pressurized cylinder or tank carried on the back.

The approval signifies that the products are expected to protect fire fighters and other responders from chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear-related gaseous and airborne particulate exposures in the line of duty. NIOSH based its determination on positive results from rigorous laboratory tests, evaluation of product specifications for the devices, and assessment of the manufacturer’s quality control procedures.

The action allows the manufacturer to label the approved devices as NIOSH-certified for occupational use by emergency responders. It does not constitute a commercial endorsement of the product.

NIOSH tested and evaluated the devices under criteria announced in December 2001 for certifying SCBAs for occupational use by first responders against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents. The criteria built on NIOSH’s existing program for certifying respirators for occupational use in traditional workplace settings such as factories, construction sites, and health care facilities.

Development of the new program involved broad national support and collaboration by many agencies, organizations, and stakeholders. The certification for the Interspiro models is the third approval that NIOSH has issued under the new program. NIOSH announced its first approval under the new program, for Spiromatic Models 9030, 6630, and 4530, manufactured by Interspiro USA Inc., in May 2002. It announced the second approval, for the Scott Model Air-Pak 4.5 respirator, manufactured by Scott Health and Safety, Monroe, N.C., in January 2003.

NIOSH is continuing to test and evaluate other SCBAs submitted by manufacturers for certification under the new program. It also is developing similar criteria for approving other types of respirators, such as air-purifying devices, for use by emergency responders. All approvals will be posted on the NIOSH web page.

For further information on the certification program, contact NIOSH at 800-35-NIOSH, or visit www.cdc.gov/niosh.