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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
JAMES J. DAVIS, Secretary

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

ETHELBERT STEWART, Commissioner

BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES I
BUREAU OF LABOR STA TIST IC S/ *

SAFETY

CODE

g | 2

SERIES

CODE FOR IDENTIFICATION
OF GAS-MASK CANISTERS
NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL, SPONSOR

AMERICAN RECOMMENDED PRACTICE
Approved January 7, 1930
AMERICAN STANDARDS ASSOCIATION

MARCH, 1930

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1930

For sale by the Superintendent




of

Docum ents, W ashington, D. C,

Price 5 cents




PREFACE

1. This code of colors for gas-mask canisters was formulated by a
committee which functioned under the procedure of the American
Standards Association. The work was sponsored by the National
Safety Council.
2. The personnel of the committee follows:
Name

Affiliation

Chairman, E. S. Beaumont Peoples Gas, Light & Coke Co.,
Chicago, 111.
John Roach_______________ New Jersey Department of Labor,
Trenton, N. J.
S. H. Katz »............................- Chemical Warfare Service, Edgewood Arsenal, Edgewood, Md.
F. R. Davis 1_____________ Bullard-Davis (Inc.), 67 Wall Street,
New York City.
E. H. Kellogg 1_______ ____ Mine Safety Appliances Co., Braddock Avenue and Thomas Boule­
vard, Pittsburgh, Pa.
J. M. Lewis, alternate______ Mine Safety Appliances Co., Pitts­
burgh, Pa.
C. A. Pense______________ Illinois Industrial Commission, 300
West Adams Street, Chicago, 111.
B. Osborn, alternate_______ ....... do...............-................................ .
Fred W. Sehl........................... Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., Hart­
ford, Conn.
C. E. Rice________________ Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich.
B. F. Tillson.......................... . New Jersey Zinc Co., Franklin, N. J.
V. R. Currie______________ Texas Co., 17 Battery Place, New
York City.
A. II. Nuckolls____________ Underwriters' Laboratories,207 East
Ohio Street, Chicago, 111.
A. F. Matson, alternate____ ___ do____ _____________________
W. P. Yant.............................. United States Bureau of Mines,
Pittsburgh, Pa.
H. S. Norton______________ United States Bureau of Standards,
Washington, D. C.
George K. Lewis__________ United Mine workers of America,
209 American Federation of Labor
Building, Washington, D. C.
Prof. Lester C. Lichty_____ Sheffield Scientific School, Yale
University, New Haven, Conn.
Secretary, R. H. Ferguson National Safety Council, 108 East
Ohio Street, Chicago, 111.

Representing
American Gas Association.
Association of Governmental Offi­
cials in Industry of the United
States and Canada.
Chemical Warfare Service.
Davis Emergency Equipment Co.
Mine Safety Appliances Co.
Do.
International Association of Indus­
trial Accident Boards and Com­
missions.
Do.
National Bureau of Casualty &
Surety Underwriters.
National Safety Council, Chemical
Section.
National Safety Council, Mining
Section.
National Safety Council, Petroleum
Section.
Underwriters’ Laboratories.
Do.
United States Bureau of Mines.
United States Bureau of Standards.
United States Department of Labor.
American Society of Mechanical
Engineers.
National Safety Council.

i Member of subcommittee.
HANDLING CHANGES OR ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS

3. That suggestions for color changes or additional colors to be
added to the code may be promptly handled, a committee, under the
sponsorship of the National Safety Council, has been named. Any
suggestions should be made to the secretary of the committee.
4. When gas-mask canisters are properly marked and labeled it is
possible to determine definitely at a glance the contents of the canister
and the protection which it affords. This code was designed to elim­
inate any confusion in the markings of the different manufacturers.
By standardizing on the color markings it is a simple matter for a
worker using a mask to know the proper canister which should be
used in the atmosphere in which he must have protection.
5. This code deals only with the marking of canisters.



m




CONTENTS

Purpose_____________________________________________________________
Scope________________________________________________________________
Application__________________________________________________________
Compliance__________________________________________________________
Definitions___________________________________________________________
Colors_______________________________________________________________
Markings other than color---------------- -------------------------------------------------v




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BULLETIN OF THE

U. S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
No. 512

WASHINGTON

m arch ,

1930

CODE FOR IDENTIFICATION OF GAS-MASK CANISTERS
PURPOSE

1. The purpose of this code is to provide protection against acci­
dental injuries arising out of misunderstandings in the identification
of suitable gas-mask canisters selected for use in connection with gas
masks worn by men who are required to enter atmospheres contain­
ing dangerous quantities of harmful gases, vapors, smokes, or mists
(singly or in combination) or dusts in combination with any of these.
By establishing a uniform practice those who may have occasion to
use gas masks will acquire a knowledge of the identification colors
and marks and will thus be assisted as much as possible in selecting
proper canisters for specific conditions encountered.
SCOPE
2. The requirements of this code apply to' the identification of all
gas-mask canisters used to afford protection against harmful gases,
vapors, smokes, and mists, also dusts in combination with any of
these, whether in industrial plants, in mines, in connection with
public utility operations, in rescue work, in fighting fires, or in any
other similar endeavor, except as used in connection with military
activities.
APPLICATION
3. The manufacturers of gas-mask canisters falling within the
scope of this code shall see that all canisters of their manufacture are
properly colored and marked in accordance with these requirements
before they are delivered to their customers.
4. All who issue or use gas masks falling within the scope of this
code shall see that all gas-mask canisters purchased or used by them
are properly colored and marked in accordance with these require­
ments before they are placed in service and that the colors and mark­
ings are properly maintained at all times thereafter until the canisters
have completely served their purpose.
COMPLIANCE
5. In the interest of safety and uniformity, compliance with this
code is urged upon all manufacturers and users of gas-mask canisters.
84401°—30




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CODE FOR IDENTIFICATION OF GAS-MASK CANISTERS

DEFINITIONS
Gas mask.
6. The words “gas mask” as used shall b© understood to mean a
device designed and constructed so that all air is excluded from the
respiratory system of the wearer except that which is drawn through
a canister forming a part of the gas mask.
Canister.
7. The word “ canister” as used shall be understood to mean a
container in w^hich there are filtering, absorbing, adsorbing, neutral­
izing, or catalyzing materials capable of affording protection against
harmful gases, vapors, smokes, and mists, singly or in combination,
also dust in combination with any of these when used in connection
with, or as part of, a gas mask.
COLORS
8. Each gas-mask canister shall be given a distinctive color in
accordance with the following:
Gases, vapors, smokes, or mists to be protected
against

A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.

Acid______________________
Organic vapor_____________
Ammonia_________________
Carbon monoxide_________
Acid and organic vapors___
Acid and organic vapors and
ammonia.
Dusts, smokes, mists in com­
bination with any of the
above gases.
H. All of the above gases______

Distinctive color required

White.
Black.
Green.
Blue.
Yellow.
Brown.
One-half inch contrasting black
or white stripe.
Red. Filters are included in this
canister, but stripes to indicate
them are unnecessary.
I. Other special gases _
Color to be assigned.
N o t e . — This code was formulated through the cooperation of the National
Safety Council, United States Bureau of Mines, and American Standards Asso­
ciation. These agencies will be glad to consider requests for additional color
assignments for other possible gases or combinations if such gases assume impor­
tance in industry.

9. All colors used shall be such as to be clearly identified by the
user and clearly distinguishable one from another. When more than
one color is used there shall be a decided contrast between them.
10. The color coatings used shall offer a high degree of resistance to
chipping, scaling, peeling, blistering, fading, and to the effects of
chemical fumes, smokes, gases, moisture, and dusts in the ordinary
atmospheres to which they may be exposed under normal conditions of
storage and usage.




CODE FOE IDENTIFICATION OF GAS-MASK CANISTERS

3

MARKINGS OTHER THAN COLOR
11. On each canister shall appear, in bold letters, a brief statement
to show the purpose of the canister, for example:
FOR USE ONLY I N _______________ __________________ _______ _____
(Name of gas or gases)

FOR USE ONLY I N ____________________ _____AND IN DUSTS
(Name of gas or gases)

FOR USE IN AIR CONTAINING ANY GAS OR SMOKE

12. For this purpose it is permissible to attach a metal plate bearing
the proper inscription in raised or other distinct letters, or to stamp
the statement into the metal of the canister with a male and female
die. The statement may be marked with decalcomania, stenciled
with paint, or paper labels may be used. The latter should be
attached with heat-proof cement.
13. All of the markings specified above should be placed on the
most conspicuous surface or surfaces of the canister.





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