Performance evaluation of 26 combinations of chemical protective clothing materials and chemicals after repeated exposures and decontaminations.
Gao P; Tomasovic B; Stein L
J Occup Environ Hyg 2011 Nov; 8(11):625-635
Effective decontamination of chemical protective clothing (CPC) is essential for reducing occupational skin diseases and disorders during a reuse scenario. To protect the workforce, the efficacy of decontamination methods and the reusability of CPC need to be evaluated. In this study, performance of 14 CPC materials against 12 liquid chemicals was evaluated based on standardized breakthrough time (BT) and steady-state permeation rate (SSPR). Thermal and water-detergent decontamination methods were used. Exposure/decontamination was repeated up to 11 cycles, or until the material failed, so that further testing became impossible. Changes in BT and SSPRs were determined for each material and chemical combination. There were 20 and 13 combinations that were able to complete 11 cycles with thermal and detergent methods, respectively. By comparing the beginning and ending cycles, mean BT increased 9 percent with the thermal method but slightly decreased (3.3 percent) with the detergent method, while mean SSPR decreased 2 percent with the thermal method, but slightly increased (1.4 percent) with the detergent method. Less than half of the changes were found statistically different (p less than 0.05). Generally, the thermal method had higher decontamination efficacy than the detergent method.
Personal-protective-equipment; Clothing; Exposure-methods; Decontamination; Equipment-reliability; Performance-capability; Solvents; Thermal-effects; Detergents; Materials-testing; Testing-equipment;
Author Keywords: breakthrough time; chemical protective clothing; decontamination; permeation testing; reusability; steady-state permeation rate
Pengfei Gao, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene