BioPak 240 is an American made closed-circuit self-contained breathing
apparatus. It recirculates the major portion of the user's exhaled gas.
A small oxygen cylinder provides make-up gas to a breathing chamber. The
user inhales the gas into a silicone facepiece. The user's exhaled
breath passes through a carbon dioxide absorbent and back into the
breathing chamber, where fresh oxygen is added. The replenished gas is
now available for the next inhalation.
A spring-loaded diaphragm in the breathing chamber maintains the
positive pressure in the system. If the user's inhalation fully depletes
the breathing chamber, the demand, free flow valve automatically
supplies the additional oxygen required. If the user's exhalation causes
the diaphragm to fully expand, excess gas is vented out of the relief
valve. A loud, high-pitched, pressure activated whistle alarm sounds
when approximately 20-25% service life remains. A manual bypass is
provided to override the supply system in an emergency. In the BioPak
240, a "blue ice" coolant canister is added to the inhalation side of
the breathing circuit to cool the breathing gas on the way to the mask.
BIOMARINE INC. INVOLVED IN INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL WEAPONS INSPECTION
Exton, PA (March 16, 1998). Biomarine Inc. of Exton, PA, was awarded a
four year contract with the On-Site Inspection Agency (Washington, DC),
a Department of Defense branch, to supply closed-circuit breathing
apparatus’. This apparatus, the BioPak 240, will be used in operations
designed to inspect foreign chemical
weapons facilities for compliance with the conditions of the Chemical
Weapons Convention parameters which was signed in early May 1997.
to the agreement reached in this Convention, Biomarine Inc., a wholly
owned subsidiary of Neutronics Inc. of Exton, PA, is anticipating an
increasing demand for this breathing apparatus. Historically, foreign
countries - including those countries apart of the Convention - look to
the U.S. Military to set the standard in health and safety equipment.
The On-Site Inspection Agency (OSIA) – who will be using the BioPak 240s
- has the mission of preparing for on-site inspections in the Russian
Federation and in the U.S. These inspections are in accordance with the
two bilateral Chemical Weapon arms control agreements between the U.S.
and Russia. To properly conduct inspections, OSIA inspectors need the
capability to perform inspection activities in areas where the level of
contamination either cannot be monitored or exceeds OSHA-approved
levels. And this is where Biomarine Inc. becomes involved. The special
closed-circuit breathing apparatus is specifically designed for long
duration use in hazardous, toxic and poor air quality environments. The
patented design of the Bio Pak 240 makes it unique for two reasons: (1)
the rigid, durable plastic breathing chamber, and (2) the copper (vs.
plastic) internal tubing. These two unique features significantly reduce
the chances of contaminants entering the breathing loop. The BioPak 240
can be used in atmospheres immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH).
continues to develop its technology and product design to remain current
with the most demanding conditions and the safety concerns surrounding
those conditions. Chemical weapons inspection is just one of many
applications in which the BioPak can be and is utilized.