The FDA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have updated their previous recommendations on the use of sealing-type washers (reusable, metal-bound rubber seal) and crush-type gaskets (single use, not reusable) with oxygen regulators. The notice includes additional recommendations on the proper use of both the plastic seals and rubber/metal seals.
The agencies April 24 pointed to the "danger of fires at the interface of oxygen regulators and cylinder valves because of incorrect use of CGA 870 seals."
At that time, the FDA said it had received "12 reports in which regulators used with oxygen cylinders have burned or exploded, in some cases injuring personnel." The two agencies noted that "improper use of gaskets/washers in these regulators was a major factor in both the ignition and severity of the fires, adding there were "likely other contributing factors."
The updated notice can be viewed at http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety/042406-o2fires.html (http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety/042406-o2fires.html).