First draft of NFPA 1970 proposes changes to firefighter PPE standard and will be open for review and Public Comment through January 4, 2023
In my continuing effort to keep interested parties apprised of the latest standards activity related to firefighting gear and conversations about the presence of PFOAs, the first draft of the upcoming edition of NFPA 1970, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural and Proximity Firefighting, Work Apparel and Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for Emergency Services, and Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS) has been posted online and is now available for review and Public Comment through January 4, 2023.
One of the proposed changes within the draft includes the elimination of the light degradation resistance test on the moisture barrier layer of jackets. It will be replaced by a multi-environmental conditioning procedure (9.1.22) that will be applied to composite test samples before certain tests. Some of the additional changes in the NFPA 1971 portion (protective ensembles) of NFPA 1970 include:
- Added new requirements for manufacturer indication of “PFAS FREE” gear. (18.104.22.168 & 6.4.13)
- Added new requirements for acceptable levels of specific restricted substances and added a test method to determine the presence and quantity of specific restricted substances. (7.1.14, 7.4.9, 7.7.6, 7.10.10, 7.13.7, 8.20, & 9.83)
- The Correlating Committee recommended to consider adding similar requirements for SCBA in Chapter 17 of NFPA 1970 (NFPA 1981 portion).
- Added requirements to test for ease of cleaning. (8.1.29, 8.4.17, 8.7.26, 8.10.19, 8.13.12, & 9.81)
- Added requirements to test for effectiveness of cleaning. (8.2.7 & 9.82)
- Added requirements to test for liquid repellency and penetration resistance of persistent contaminants. (8.2.8 & 9.84)
- Added requirements to test for leaching of material substances. (8.2.9 & 9.85)
It’s important to note that these proposed changes and additions reflect the recommendations of the Technical and Correlating Committee on Hazardous Substances in the NFPA 1970 First Draft Report.
As I outlined in a previous blog, NFPA does not create or dictate the provisions within our codes and standards. NFPA is the neutral facilitator of the standards development process; each standard is developed by balanced voluntary technical committees. It is an open and transparent process in which anyone (except NFPA staff) can review and provide input and comment. I strongly encourage everyone who has opinions, perspectives, and insights on these proposed changes to make sure their voices are heard by the committee. Comments will be accepted through January 4, 2023.
Anyone who believes the first draft of the standard should be changed to address these and other topics is strongly encouraged to submit proposed changes (public comment) to the next edition of the standard. You do not have to be an NFPA member or on an NFPA Technical Committee to provide comment and propose additional changes. Anyone (except NFPA staff) can propose a change to the standard by suggesting specific wording and providing a technical rationale through our online submission system, which is accessible at nfpa.org/1970next.
The deadline for Public Comment is January 4, 2023.
In the following months, the Technical and Correlating Committees will consider all of the proposed changes received by the deadline and will develop a Second Draft of NFPA 1970. NFPA anticipates that the Second Draft Reports will be posted for public review in the Fall of 2023. Throughout the process, the latest information on this standard can be found at nfpa.org/1970next.