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Effects of Hoods and Flame-Retardant Fabrics on WBGT Clothing Adjustment Factors

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Effects of Hoods and Flame-Retardant Fabrics on WBGT Clothing Adjustment Factors

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  • Time of issue:2013-05-31

Effects of Hoods and Flame-Retardant Fabrics on WBGT Clothing Adjustment Factors

Personal protective clothing (PPC) may include hoods and flame-retardant (FR) fabrics that may affect heat transfer and, thus, the critical wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT(crit)) to maintain thermal equilibrium. The purpose of this study was to compare the differences in WBGT(crit) for hooded vs. nonhooded versions of particle barrier and vapor barrier coveralls as well as for coveralls made of two flame-retardant fabrics (INDURA cotton and Nomex). Acclimated men (n = 11) and women (n = 4) walked on a treadmill in a climatic chamber at 180 W/m(2) wearing four different ensembles: limited-use, particle barrier coveralls with and without a hood (Tyvek 1427), and limited-use vapor barrier coveralls with and without a hood (Tychem QC, polyethylene-coated Tyvek). Twelve of the participants wore one of two flame-retardant coveralls. All participants wore standard cotton clothing. Progressive exposure testing at 50% relative humidity (rh) was designed so that each subject established a physiological steady-state followed by a clear loss of thermal equilibrium. WBGT(crit) was the WBGT 5 min prior to a loss of thermal equilibrium. Hooded ensembles had a lower WBGT(crit) than the nonhooded ensembles. The difference suggested a clothing adjustment of 1 degrees C for hoods. There were no significant differences among the FR ensembles and cotton work cloths, and the proposed clothing adjustment for FR coveralls clothing is 0 degrees C.

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