|Atmospheric Contaminants to be Protected Against||Colors Assigned*|
|Hydrocyanic Acid Gas||White with 1/2-inch green stripe completely around the canister near the bottom|
|Chlorine Gas||White with 1/2-inch yellow stripe completely around the canister near the bottom|
|Acid Gases & Ammonia Gas||Green with 1/2-inch white stripe completely around the canister near the bottom|
|Acid Gases & Organic vapors||Yellow|
|Hydrocyanic Acid Gas & Chloropicrin vapor||Yellow with 1/2-inch blue stripe completely around the canister near the bottom|
|Acid Gases, Organic vapors & Ammonia Gases||Brown|
|Radioactive Materials, Excepting Tritium and Noble Gases||Purple (Magenta)|
|Particulates (Dusts, Fumes, Mists, Fogs, or Smokes) in combination with any of the above gases or vapors||canister color for contaminant, as designated above, with 1/2-inch gray stripe completely around the canister near the top|
|All of the above atmospheric contaminants||Red with 1/2-inch gray stripe completely around the canister near the top|
*Gray shall not be assigned as the main color for a canister designed to remove acids or vapors. Note: Orange shall be used as a complete body or stripe color to represent gases not included in this table. The user will need to refer to the canister label to determine the degree of protection the canister will afford.
The table on the following pages is to aid in the selection of appropriate respiratory protection for organic vapors. Particularly, the appropriate use of organic vapor cartridges with regard for their intended use.
Organic vapor cartridges typically use activated charcoal as a sorbent (air purifying agent) for removing the organic compounds from the air drawn in through the respirator during inspiration by the respirator wearer. Since there is a finite quantity of charcoal in the cartridges, there is a finite amount of organic vapors that will be collected. Since there is no warning device on the respirator to warn the wearer when the cartridge has reached capacity, the wearer must rely upon his sense of smell when the organic compound breaks through. Thus it is very important that the organic compound(s) have good warning properties (i.e., the average person can smell them at levels well below the permissible exposure limits).
The limited capacity of the organic vapor cartridges is affected by temperature, humidity, concentration of organic compound(s) in the air and the wearer's breathing rate (how much contaminated air the wearer breathes in through the respirator). Although the standard organic vapor cartridges have been certified based on a 1000 ppm (CCl4) test, its performance will vary greatly with the specific organic compound. The table is based on tests of the standard organic vapor cartridge during which the cartridges were exposed to 1000 ppm of the listed organic compounds at a flow rate approximately twice the breathing rate of an individual at rest. The timed test was ended when a 10% breakthrough occurred.
Although you may not use a respirator with organic cartridges under any of the conditions listed, the table provides an idea of their performance which may be helpful in evaluating your special use conditions. If you have any questions about the use of the table or if your particular organic compound is not found on the list, ask the Environmental Health & Safety Department for additional help.