Compressed air has many applications, including its use for breathing air. Some people breathe compressed air using Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and others use airline respirators which are supplied air from various types of compressors.

In OSHA’s respirator protective equipment standard (1910.134) they require “the employer to provide employees using atmosphere-supplying respirators (supplied-air and SCBA) with breathing gases of high purity” and further state that “Compressed breathing air shall meet at least the requirements for Grade D breathing air described in ANSI/Compressed Gas Association Commodity Specification for Air, G-7.1”

Simply put employers on an annual basis must ensure that breathing air….

  • Has 19.5 to 23.5% oxygen
  • Has less than 5 milligrams per cubic meter of Hyrdrocarbons (i.e. Oils)
  • Has less than 10 ppm of Carbon Monoxide
  • Has less than 1000 ppm of Carbon Dioxide and
  • Lack of “noticeable odor”.

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