The supplied-air suits that protect DOE contractor and federal employees from exposure to
harmful atmospheres and radioactive contaminants are not included in the National Institute
for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) certification process for respiratory protective
devices. Therefore, with the awareness and acknowledgement of NIOSH and the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Department established a
system for acceptance testing of supplied-air suits.
In addition, DOE O 440.1A Worker Protection Management for DOE Federal and
Contractor Employees, requires the "use of respiratory equipment tested under the DOE
Respiratory Acceptance Policy (ERAP) when NIOSH approved respiratory protection does
not exist for DOE tasks."
Accordingly, the purpose of this technical standard is to provide guidance for (a)
establishing procedures for administering the ERAP, (b) prescribing test methods for
evaluating the performance of supplied-air suits, and (c) specifying minimum performance
standards for these suits. These supplied-air suits are not meant to protect against external
exposure to ionizing radiation or Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH)
While this test standard is focused on testing a supplied-air suit's ability to reduce solid
particulate penetration and avoid cross-contamination of a worker during removal, it is
recognized that supplied-air suits may also be used to provide protection from the
permeation of liquids, gases, and vapors. The degree of protection is based on the polymers
used and their manufacturing method, the polymer thickness, the method of suit assembly,
the liquid, gas, or vapor in question, the length of exposure, and environmental conditions. If
a liquid, gas, or vapor in the workplace can be expected to pose a hazard to workers, the
supplied-air suit's resistance to permeation and breakthrough should be considered.
Information on evaluating breakthrough times and permeation is provided in Appendix A
This technical standard applies to DOE headquarters, field organizations, and contractors,
using supplied-air suits. Nothing in this standard should supercede current OSHA standards,
where applicable, or current ANSI respiratory protection standards.
29 CFR 1910.134, Respiratory Protection, current OSHA Respirator Standard
ANSI Z88.2-1992, American National Standard for Respiratory Protection
ANSI Z88.6 (2002 Draft), American National Standard: Respirator Use-Physical
Qualifications for Personnel