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Protective Clothing and Ensembles

Examples of workers wearing protective clothing and ensembles

NIOSH’s Protective Clothing and Ensembles Program is aimed at protecting the skin from various health hazards that may be encountered in the workplace or during a terrorist attack. The program has evolved over the years to incorporate a broad range of studies of how chemicals and other liquids seep through barrier materials, leak through small holes or interfaces, or change the barrier material to reduce its protection.

In addition to field surveys of chemical protective clothing (CPC) performance, studies continue to examine ways to detect when chemicals have gotten inside CPC, and how to effectively remove chemicals from protective clothing after it has been contaminated. Future efforts will incorporate advanced protective clothing technologies into fully integrated, intelligent ensembles for fire fighters and emergency first responders.