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Development and Validation of Physiological Performance Models to Correlate the Effect of Ensemble THL - FY08


  • To provide the standards organizations with a sound physiological basis for setting THL values in current and future PPE performance standards with a focus on CBRN standards
Photo of Total Heat Loss Apparatus and man testing at the physiology lab

Applicable Standards

  • NFPA Protective Clothing Standards -1994 (CBRN), 1951 (CBRN), 1971 (CBRN), 1999 (BRN), 1977, and 1992
  • ASTM Standards - F 1868 Standard Test Method for Thermal and Evaporative Resistance of Clothing Materials Using a Sweating Hot Plate and Proposed Standard Practice for Determining the Physiological Responses of the Wearer to Protective Clothing Ensembles
  • F2668-07 Standard Practice for Determining the Physiological Responses of Wearer to Protective Clothing Ensembles

Key Partners

  • NFPA
  • ASTM International
  • UL


  • Emergency Responders
  • Manufacturers
  • Test Laboratories

Project Scope

  • 3-year project consisting of a series of experiments to be performed on human subjects wearing different type of emergency response protective ensembles (data on skin/core temp, CO2/O2, microclimate temp, etc.).
  • Collected data will enable the development and validation of physiological performance models to correlate the effect of ensemble THL characteristics on emergency responder performance.


  • Q1-Q2 Six month delay in project start
  • Q3 Complete literature search, develop detailed human subject test plan, and submit to external peer-review and NIOSH HSRB for approval.
  • Q4 Develop ensemble test panel, obtain products with varying THL characteristics, and recruit subjects for ensemble testing.


  • Submission of manuscripts to a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Presentation of the physiological performance models and recommendations on establishment of THL criteria with a physiological basis for use to the NFPA Technical Committees(1994, 1971, 1977, 1951, 1992) and to the ASTM F23.


  • Revisions or updates to all applicable NFPA Standards and ASTM Test Methods.
Page last updated: August 08, 2008
Page last reviewed: August 08, 2008
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)