The Motor Vehicle Manufacturers are required under the provisions of Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 to provide passive restraint systems in their large 1982 model year passenger vehicles. Air bag restraint systems based upon either a hybrid or pyrotechnic design can provide the necessary restraining provisions required by MVSS 208. However, there are many questions which remain to be answered regarding the potential risks which these air bag systems
may pose. The air bag life cycle, including intended use, abandonment, scrapyards, junk-yards, and metal melting operations, is evaluated to assess the various risks which air bag systems pose to humans, the biological environment, and the flora and fauna inhabiting these areas. These risks are estimated through the application of traditional risk analysis techniques, including failure mode and effect analysis and fault-tree analysis.