Air Quality Testing

Industrial Protection Services is able to provide air quality testing on site for your breathing air compressors and cascade systems. Air samples are taken from your system and sent to an accredited lab for analysis.  IPS tests all samples against NFPA 1989 and S.C.U.B.A.

The new version of NFPA 1989 is available for free viewing on NFPA’s website. We highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the recent changes and additions. The following is a brief summary (red texts are new requirements):

Compressed Air Testing & Sampling

  • Quarterly testing by an accredited laboratory
  • Samples should be taken from compressor after purification 
  • Remote fill or sampling port acceptable if unable to take inside containment fill station
  • Minimum 500 liters for oil and particulate test

Special Testing for Maintenance Conditions

  • Take sample before and after all filter changes
  • Appendix and 5.5.1 explain that the purpose of testing before and after filter changes is to assure that air has been contamination free since last air sample date. This also assures that all stored air is contamination free. This eliminates the need for testing stored air.

Contaminated Air

  • If a sample fails, the compressor will be removed from service until the cause is determined, corrective action taken, retest must be in compliance before compressor is put back into service.


  • Organization and laboratory must keep test records for minimum of 5 years
  • Organization must document actions taken after a failed test

Compressed Breathing Air Systems

  • New section on installation of compressor and intake
  • Oil lubricated compressors shall be equipped with tamperproof CO monitor with audible and visual alarms, high temperature alarm, tamperproof low oil level or low oil pressure, or both, audible & visual alarm that will shut down compressor
  • Air stored in steel cylinders shall be replaced at least annually
  • Positive pressure to be maintained in depleted cylinders/receivers until refilled
  • All SCBA cylinder fills and system storage cylinders not attached to compressor will be documented. Records to include: fill date, ID of person filling, cylinder serial number, cylinder pressure, most recent hydro test date
  • Appendix A.5.4 (note appendices are for reference and not a requirement)
  • In the event of a death, unconsciousness, heart attack within 24 hours of using compressed air; institute a chain of custody, secure respirator, close valve, tag & submit to accredited lab for analysis


  • Operate compressor at least 30 minutes per week


Several provide explanations for some of the changes in standard. 
Go to www.nfpa.org to order
Search: New Products: 1989 2008 edition 
To view 2003 and 2008 editions, 
click on "More Information about NFPA 1989" 
scroll to bottom of page for links


  • Oxygen 19.5 – 23.5% + 0.5%
  • Nitrogen 75 - 81% + 0.5%
  • Carbon Monoxide 5 ppm + 0.5 ppm < 0.5 ppm
  • Carbon Dioxide 1000 ppm + 50 ppm < 100 ppm
  • Oil & Particulates 2.0 mg/m3 + 0.1 mg/m3 < 0.1 mg/m3
  • Water 24 ppm + 8 ppm < 3 ppm
  • Volatile Organic 25 ppm + 1 ppm < 1 ppm 
  • Odor not pronounced or unusual


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