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Sawicki, J. C. | Mond, C. | Schwope, A. D. | Watkins, S.
Limited-Use Chemical Protective Clothing for EPA Superfund Activities.
Little, (Arthur D.) Inc., Cambridge, MA Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY
Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH
EPA/600/R-92/014, February 1992, 48 p.
protective clothing | hazardous materials | evaluation | standards | coveralls | ANSI 101
Chemical Protective Clothing (CPC); field experience with limited-use CPC; evaluation of fit and sizing
Because contractor field personnel complained about the poor durability and fit of limited-use chemical protective clothing (CPC) most commonly used at hazardous waste site operations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a study to characterize use of CPC, determine problems encountered, develop solutions to problems, and communicate results in publications and procurement guidelines. Personnel at two Superfund hazardous waste sites were surveyed about CPC problems. Poor fit of coveralls and lack of fabric durability resulted in garment failures, especially in the seat, crotch, and underarms. Some fabrics were identified that provided improved performance. The commercial market was surveyed, and commercial fabrics for limited-use CPC were identified and obtained. In addition, two experimental fabrics were obtained. All available fabrics were tested for breaking strength and flexibility. Based on these tests and the field survey, acceptable minimum values for breaking strengths of coated and uncoated fabrics and acceptable maximum values for stiffness were determined. One of the experimental fabrics, DuPont Tyvek 1445 coated with polyethylene, was found to be especially promising when compared with these values. Available standards and specifications describing size and fit parameters for limited use CPC were identified and reviewed relative to EPA Superfund CPC needs. None of the standards were found to be fully acceptable. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard 101-1985, however, provided a satisfactory baseline for further standards development. Problems with CPC were analyzed and suggested changes to ANSI 101 were developed as a proposed procurement guideline. This information was presented to the Industrial Safety Equipment Association, which developed the ANSI standard.