Breathing Air Analysis
Any person using breathing air via a range of respiratory apparatus should satisfy themselves that the quality of the compressed air meets current breathing air standards as laid down in IS EN 12021:2014.
The Irish standard specifies requirements for the quality of compressed air supplied for the use with the following types of equipment:
- Respiratory protective devices – self-contained open circuit compressed breathing apparatus (SCBA) and open circuit compressed underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA).
- Respiratory protective devices – compressed air line breathing apparatus and compressed airline breathing apparatus for use under water.
- Respiratory protective devices for escape – self-contained open circuit compressed air breathing apparatus including full face mask or mouthpiece assembly or hoods.
Periodic checks should be carried out on the output breathing air quality of a HP or LP compressor if used for breathing air purposes, by a competent person. The testing frequency depends on the amount of use of the compressor, but should not be less frequent than quarterly (every three months) or after each filter change/service.
Compressed gas for breathing shall not contain contaminants at a concentration which can cause toxic or harmful effects and shall be kept to as low a level as possible and the limit shall be less than one sixth of a national 8 hour exposure limit.
A duty of care exists for all providers of breathing air to ensure that the air quality meets or is less than current standards for those personnel using respiratory equipment.