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Environment, Health and Safety Research

Development of Bench and Mist Protocols for Particulate Measurements of Protective Clothing and Ensembles

Project Information

Principal InvestigatorPengfei Gao
InstitutionNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Project URLView
Relevance to ImplicationsHigh
Class of NanomaterialGeneric
Impact SectorHuman Health
Broad Research Categories Safety
NNI identifier

Funding Information

Anticipated Total Fundingn/a
Annual Fundingn/a
Funding SourceNIOSH
Funding MechanismIntramural
Funding SectorGovernment
Start Year2006
Anticipated End Year2009


Protective clothing and ensembles are critically important items for workers when exposed to hazardous conditions. In order to determine how well ensembles protect wearers, it is necessary to test the entire suit system while it is worn to measure potential leakage through seams, closures, areas of transition to other protective equipment, and any leakage due to movement and activities. The objective of this project is to develop innovative methodology for standardizing both bench-scale testing and man-in-simulant test (MIST) procedures for aerosol particle penetration through protective clothing and ensembles. A test method for aerosol particles including nanoparticles that does not depend on filtration will be developed. A passive aerosol sampler (PAS) using magnetic force will be developed and iron (II, III) oxide particles will be used to generate challenge aerosols. An aerosol chamber will be fabricated for evaluating the particulate penetration for particle sizes between 20 and 500 nm; a wind tunnel will be used for larger particles up to 10 _m. Iron oxide collected on the PAS will be quantified using a colorimetrical method or transmission electron microscopy. Performance of the PAS will be evaluated under various test conditions, including particle size, particle concentration, wind speed, exposure duration, relative humidity, and sampler orientation. A disposition velocity model will be developed to calculate sampling rates of the PAS. Penetration of nanoparticles through fabrics and protective clothing swatches will be measured with other reference samplers to compare the performance of the PAS. The research findings will be used for revised and new American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) and NFPA standards. The project duration is proposed to last for four years FY 2006 to FY 2009.