Chemical Protection Clothing Video and DVD Excerpt:
The adverse affects chemical substances may have on the human body necessitate the use of protective clothing. The predominant physical, chemical, or toxic property of the material dictates the type and degree required. For example protection from a corrosive compound is different then that for a compound which releases a highly toxic vapor. The work function and probability of exposure to the substance must also be considered when specifying protective clothing. As with the selection of the proper respiratory protection apparatus the hazards encountered must be thoroughly assessed before deciding on protective clothing to be worn. Once the specific hazard has been identified, the appropriate clothing can be selected. Several factors must be considered; most important being the safety of the individual, the level of protection assigned must match the hazard confronted. Other factors include; cost, availability, compatibility with other equipment, suitability, and performance. Protective clothing ensembles range from safety glasses to hard hats, and safety shoes, to fully encapsulating suits with a supplied source of breathing air. The variety of clothing includes; disposable coveralls, fire retardant clothing, and chemical splash suits. Different materials are used to provide a protective barrier against the hazard. Protective clothing protects primarily because of the material from which it is made. In selecting the protective material the following should be considered; chemical resistance which is the most important. When clothing contacts a hazardous material it must maintain it's structural integrity and protective qualities. Strength which is based on it's resistance to tares, punctures, and abrasions. Flexibility which helps make it easy to move and work in protective clothing. Flexibility is especially important in glove materials. Thermal limits affect the ability of the clothing to maintain its protective capacity in temperature extremes. Thermal limits also affect mobility in cold weather and transfer of heat to the wearer in hot weather.