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Tool Estimates Respirator Cartridge Life

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the U.S. federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness, has revised its computer tool for calculating the service life of air-purifying respirator cartridges.

MultiVapor is a desktop software application for estimating breakthrough times and service lives of air-purifying respirator cartridges manufactured to remove toxic organic vapors from breathed air, the agency says.

istock/Terry J Alcorn
© / Terry J Alcorn

The revised MultiVapor computer tool estimates breakthrough times and service lives of air-purifying respirator cartridges manufactured to remove toxic organic vapors from breathed air, NIOSH says.

A breakthrough time, NIOSH explains, is the time following the first and continuous use of a cartridge after which the user of the cartridge could be exposed to a selected concentration of a harmful vapor. This is the consequence of the cartridge being used up, it adds. Service life is the breakthrough time with, possibly, a safety factor applied.

The MultiVapor tool can also be used for larger filters and for carbon beds of any size prepared for laboratory studies, NIOSH adds.

Updated in January 2016, MultiVapor 2.2.4 has 66 new compounds in its library, including toluene di-isocyanate (TDI), methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) and Styrene.

In addition, the typical organic vapor (OV) cartridge parameters are now more representative of commonly used cartridges, according to the company. They were obtained by averaging three popular cartridge parameters, it says.

The tool is intended to help personnel set change-out schedules but is not a substitute for regulatory requirements or professional judgments, NIOSH explains.

The computer tool is designed to load and operate on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating systems.

More information:


Tagged categories: Health & Safety; NIOSH; North America; Online tools; Personal protective equipment; Respirators

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