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Breathing Apparatus / EEBDs



APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  The U.S. Coast Guard no longer issues Certificates of Approval for breathing apparatus required to be carried as part of ship's emergency and fire fighter outfits. Instead, ships must carry pressure-demand, open-circuit type, self-contained breathing apparatus, approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and having, at minimum, a 30-minute air supply, a full face piece, and a spare charge. These SCBAs are not required to meet NFPA 1981.

NIOSH is another government agency that routinely tests and certifies various types of breathing apparatus for industrial applications and may be contacted at:

Chief, Respirator Branch
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
1095 Willowdale Road M/S H35
Morgantown, West Virginia 26505-2888 (USA)


SOLAS treaty amendments, which became effective 1 July 2002, require the carriage of Emergency Escape Breathing Devices (EEBDs) in the engine rooms of all ships, and additional EEBDs in the accommodation areas and main vertical zones of passenger vessels. The new SOLAS Chapter II-2 states that the EEBDs must be approved by the administration and meet the new IMO Fire Safety System Code.

The U.S. Coast Guard has not established its own approval program for EEBDs. Instead, we will accept EEBDs that are certified by NIOSH as indicated above. This acceptance procedure is similar to the procedure which we currently use to accept the carriage of the required 30 minute self-contained breathing apparatus as part of the fireman's outfits as described above. Anyone interested in pursuing U. S. Coast Guard acceptance is invited to contact NIOSH directly to initiate NIOSH certification.

Please note that in addition to NIOSH certification, EEBDs must also comply with Chapter 3 of the IMO Fire Safety Systems Code, including 10 minute duration, air or oxygen supply, full face piece or hood, etc.


LINKS: NIOSH Certified Equipment List Search. (You are leaving a federal government web site.)

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE: The U.S. Coast Guard does not certify EEBDs. USCG inspectors will determine acceptability of equipment based on its markings.

For certification go to the NIOSH website for respirator certification (You are leaving a federal government web site.).

Last Modified 1/12/2016