Title

Thermoregulatory response to wearing encapsulated protective clothing during simulated work in various thermal environments

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Payne, WR, Portier, W, Fairweather, I, Zhou, S & Snow, RJ 1994, 'Thermoregulatory response to wearing encapsulated protective clothing during simulated work in various thermal environments', American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, vol. 55, no. 6, pp. 529-536.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15428119491018808

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This investigation assessed the thermoregulatory impact of performing simulated tasks normally encountered during chemical accident clean-up while wearing chemical protection clothing under various representative thermal loads. A Drager 500 (D) suit was worn with a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) external to the suit, while both a Trelleborg Trellchem® Super Extra (T) and a James North MZ500 (J) suit required the SCBA to be worn inside the suit. The D suit was unventilated, while the T and S suits were ventilated with the subject's exhaled air. The T suit also was ventilated via a 2 L/min flow of air from the SCBA. Subjects were six firefighters. Each simulation lasted for 30 minutes and involved tasks such as drum rolling, drum carrying, walking, and hose dragging. The trials were conducted at 11.3, 17.1, and 23.8 °C WBGT. The overall mean peak heart rate was 128.1±2.80 breaths/min and was elicited while performing lifting tasks. Nonsignificant differences (p>0.05) were observed for both the average heart rate and sweat rate. Mean skin temperature, mean body temperature, and temperature within the suit cavity were significantly higher when wearing the D suit compared to wearing T or J suits; differences between the T and J suits were nonsignificant. Suit type did not significantly affect rectal temperature, which also failed to exceed the American Council of Governmental Industrial Hygienists' (ACGIH) standard of 38.0 °C. These data illustrate that the D suit significantly retarded heat dissipation as measured by mean body temperature in comparison to the T and J suits, though not enough to differentially affect core temperature or elevate it above the ACGIH limit.