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.
Respirator Awareness: Your Health May Depend On It
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-138 (June 2013) Español
One of the occupational hazards in the healthcare setting is the airborne transmission of certain infectious diseases. The potential of exposure is not limited to physicians, nurses, and support personnel in direct patient care. It extends to those delivering food, cleaning patient rooms, and performing maintenance. Anyone working in areas with patients infected with airborne-transmissible diseases is potentially at risk.
Recommendations for the Selection and Use of Respirators and Protective Clothing for Protection Against Biological Agents
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2009-132 (April 2009)
Protective clothing may be needed to prevent skin exposures and/or contamination of other clothing during exposure to biological agents. The type of protective clothing needed will depend upon the type of agent, concentration, and route of exposure.
Estimating the Permeation Resistance of Nonporous Barrier Polymers to Sulfur Mustard (HD) and Sarin (GB) Chemical Warfare Agents Using Liquid Simulants
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2008-141 (July 2008)
The purpose of this document is to report the results of the NIOSH Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) Simulant Project.
A Guide for Evaluating the Performance of Chemical Protective Clothing
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 90-109 (June 1990)
This guide describes a method by which an industrial hygienist or equivalent safety professional can select appropriate chemical protective clothing (CPC) to protect a worker’s skin from contacting chemicals.
Occupational Safety and Health Guidance Manual for Hazardous Waste Site Activities
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 85-115 (October 1985)
Guidance document for managers responsible for occupational safety and health programs at inactive hazardous waste sites.
Personal Protective Technology Program
The Personal Protective Technology (PPT) Program is a world leader in keeping American workers safe through PPT research, standards development, respirator conformity assessment, public outreach, and information dissemination. Personal Protective Technologies include respirators, protective clothing, gloves, eye, fall and hearing protection, hard hats, and sensors to detect hazardous substances.
NIOSH Publication No. 2007-143c (Version 2.4.1)
Chemical protective clothing is widely used to protect skin from hazards found in the workplace. It is also available for use during a terrorist attack. Data analysis for chemical protective clothing permeation testing involves a number of equations and experimental factors. Possible calculation errors are critical issues when determining permeation parameters. Additionally, the calculations of some of the permeation parameters are mathematically complex, which are difficult or time-consuming to be accurately calculated without a computer program.
The Permeation Calculator Version 2.4.1 calculates all of the permeation parameters listed in ASTM test method F739, ISO 6529, and ASTM Practice D6978, including standardized breakthrough time, normalized breakthrough detection time, breakthrough detection time, minimum breakthrough detection time (if applicable), steady-state permeation rate, cumulative permeation at a given elapsed time, elapsed time at a given cumulative permeation, average permeation rate, and maximum permeation rate if it is an open loop permeation test. It helps researchers and industrial hygienists avoid labor-intensive hand calculations of the permeation parameters. From a standardization point of view, this practice prevents variability or inconsistency caused by different experimenters thus ensuring identical permeation parameters or results will be obtained from a given permeation test data file. Refer to ASTM F2815 for more detailed information.
NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
The Pocket Guide is a source of general industrial hygiene information on several hundred chemicals/classes found in the work environment. It provides respirator recommendations for certain chemicals based on the concentrations.
Personal protective equipment for preventing highly infectious diseases due to exposure to contaminated body fluids in healthcare staff
Verbeek JH; Rajamaki B; Ijaz S; Sauni R; Toomey E; Blackwood B; Tikka C; Ruotsalainen JH; Kilinc Balci FS
Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2020 May; (4):CD011621
Evaluation of gowns and coveralls used by medical personnel working with Ebola patients against simulated bodily fluids using an Elbow Lean Test.
Jaques PA; Gao P; Kilinc Balci S; Portnoff L; Weible R; Horvatin M; Strauch A; Shaffer R
J Occup Environ Hyg 2016 Nov; 13(11):881-893
A review of isolation gowns in healthcare: fabric and gown properties
J Eng Fibers Fabrics 2015 Jul; 10(3):180-190
Isolation gowns in health care settings: laboratory studies, regulations and standards, and potential barriers of gown selection and use
Kilinc Balci FS
Am J Infect Control 2016 Jan; 44(1):104-111
Critical investigation of glove-gown interface barrier performance in simulated surgical settings
Kahveci Z; Kilinc-Balci FS; Yorio PL
J Occup Environ Hyg 2019 Jul; 16(7):498-506
Novel test method for the evaluation of fluid leakage at the glove-gown interface and investigation of test parameters
Kilinc-Balci FS; Kahveci Z; Yorio P
J Am Coll Surg 2018 Dec; 227(6):573-586
Barrier resistance of double layer isolation gowns
Kahveci Z; Kilinc-Balci FS; Yorio PL
Am J Infect Control 2021 Apr; 49(4):430-433
Working Together for Healthcare Worker Safety: the Gown-Glove Connection
NIOSH research scientist, Dr. Selcen Kilinc-Balci, talks about a NIOSH study that illustrates the importance of looking closely at how gowns and gloves work together to protect healthcare workers.
PROJECT HEROES: Homeland Emergency Response Operational and Equipment Systems pdf icon[PDF – 780 KB]
A review of modern fire service hazards and protection needs prepared by the International Association of Fire Fighters under contract with NIOSH.
A Review of Gaps and Limitations in Test Methods for First Responder Protective Clothing and Equipment pdf icon[PDF – 752 KB]
This report presents the results of a review aimed at identifying test methods for protective clothing for first responders, as well as identifying areas in which further research is required. Prepared by Dr. Roger L. Barker under contract with NIOSH.
Glove-Gown Fluid Exposure: Know the Risks
This article describes some of the PPE challenges healthcare professionals face. It mainly focuses on the interaction between gloves and gowns and highlights the new testing method NIOSH NPPTL is creating to assess fluid leakage.
New ASTM International Isolation-Gown Specification Aims to Protect Healthcare Workers, Patients
This article provides a brief description of the 2019 ASTM standard for isolation gowns (F3352). NIOSH NPPTL’s support for the Standard Development Organizations helped create this standard.