Chemical protective clothing keeps workers safe in workplaces that expose employees to dangerous chemicals. While no clothing offers 100% protection against chemicals, the right protective clothing and safety practices can reduce workplace risks. Workers wear chemical protective gear in manufacturing facilities, healthcare settings, janitorial work, laboratories and other workplaces with potentially hazardous chemicals.
Types of Chemical Protective Clothing
There are many types of clothing designed to protect workers, including chemical protective gloves, masks, goggles and suits. There are clothes and gear that protect wearers from pressurized and sprayed liquids, chemical solids and gases.
Gloves are the first line of defense in chemical protective clothing since employees often touch or interact with products that contain dangerous chemicals. For example, in a laboratory or healthcare facility, workers are more likely to spill chemicals on their hands than on other parts of the body when preparing samples.
Properties of Chemical Protective Clothing
When choosing chemical protective gear, consider:
- Workplace hazards: Every workplace is different. For every job with possible chemical exposure, you will need to create a detailed description of all workplace duties, including chemical and exposure hazards and the types and amounts of chemicals that may be involved. This will help determine what types of gear and materials you need.
- Degradation: This refers to how the material deteriorates when it is exposed to a chemical. A material may dissolve, get weaker, turn brittle or change and it is important to choose gear that does not degrade and put workers at risk.
- Breakthrough time: This is the amount of time it takes a chemical to pass through a material and reach the skin. Manufacturers test breakthrough time, and you will want to read your gear’s specifications to ensure the breakthrough time allows workers to complete tasks safely. You can use permeation rate to measure how long it takes a chemical to seep through a material.
- Tactile sensitivity: It is important to consider the potential hazards of chemical protective clothing. A glove with low tactile sensitivity is thick and may not fit as snugly around the hand. This can increase the risk of spills and dropped equipment and can lead to chafing and dermatitis. Choose gloves that allow for as much tactile dexterity as possible.
Shop Chemical Protective Clothing in Bulk
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