If you are working with chemical hazards, you need to make sure that you have the right protection. This will keep you safe from harm. During the past few years, there have been some major advances in the field of chemical protection. Therefore, it could be hard to find the right suit. Some people might not know where to start. After taking a look at some of the top suits on the market, a few criteria rise to the surface when it comes to choosing a chemical coverall suit. There are a few tips that you should keep in mind. The first step in choosing a chemical coverall suit is to know what the options are.
The Various Levels of PPE
The world of personal protective equipment (PPE) is usually broken up into four different categories. These categories are important in dictating the level of protection that is provided by the suits. These include:
- Level A: The first category is called level A. This is the highest level of protection. This will protect respiratory surfaces, the eyes, the skin, and the mucus membranes. Some of the items that are included with level A protection include a positive pressure suit, a self-contained breathing apparatus, a totally encompassing chemical coverall suit, inner and outer gloves that resist chemicals, boots that resist chemicals along with covers that protect the boots.
- Level B: The difference between level A and level B has to do with skin and eye protection. Some of the items that come with level B protection include a positive pressure breathing device, clothing that resists chemicals, gloves that resist chemicals, and boots that are chemical resistant.
- Level C: If skin and eye exposure are unlikely but there is still an airborne substance that could be dangerous usually merits level C protection. This type of protection includes a face-mask with a respirator, clothing that resists chemicals, gloves that resist chemicals, and boots.
- Level D: The lowest level of protection is called level D. This only requires coveralls with safety shoes and boots. This suit is used to protect against nuisance contamination.
- In addition to keeping dangers out, these suits are also used to keep contaminants in. This is important for those who work in sensitive areas such as crime scenes and labs.
In addition to thinking about these various levels of PPE, it is critical to know how each situation is going to vary. Some of the factors that people need to consider permeation vs. penetration, the type of exposure, and the type of seams.
Understanding Permeation and Penetration
If you are trying to figure out which fabric you need, you must consider the chemicals with which you could come into contact. This is going to influence the type of fabric you will use. The higher the score, the longer the suit will last.
Suits are going to go through permeation testing. This measures the amount of chemical product that either diffuses through the suit material or gets absorbed. If the molecules pass through the suit, this is a problem because it could harm the person wearing the suit. Permeation concerns how well the suit can keep molecules on the outside.
On the other hand, penetration measures how much of a chemical passes through a pore or stitch in the suit. This is similar to a dam that cracks with water that bursts through.
A permeation test is more common than a penetration test. A higher score is better because this means that the suit will provide a great degree of protection for a longer period of time.
The Type of Exposure
Next, consider what type of exposure is going to be present. For example, is there going to be prolonged exposure? Is it possible there could be a spray? Some suits are meant for different exposures. Those who would like to learn more about the chemicals with which they might come into contact should head to the SDS. The SDS will often recommend fabric based on the exposures.
Understanding the Seams Present on Chemical Suits
Finally, it is important to read about the seams that will be present on the suit itself. Some of the seams that could be present on the suit include:
- The Stitched Seam: This is a seam that joins two pieces of fabric with a stitch that interlocks. This is simple, inexpensive, and usually not used in clothing that is going to provide protection against chemicals. This is more common if dry particulate matter is the only concern.
- Bound Seam: This is a seam that brings two pieces together by using an overlay of material that is similar in nature. This is a chain that goes through all layers, leading to a clean, finished edge. This seam provides better protection against both liquids and dry particles.
- A Taped Seam with a Heat Seal: With this type of stitch, the seams are sewn together. Then, they are sealed using a tape that has been activated with heat. Alternatively, the seam could also be welded using ultrasonic devices. This is particularly common with Level A and Level B protection. It provides liquid-proof clothing. There are no holes.
- A Double Tape Seam with a Heat Seal: This is the strongest type of seam. First, the seam is sewn. Then, it is heated both on the outside and inside to provide the highest degree of strength and chemical resistance possible.
These are the most common seams when it comes to chemical coverall suit. Make sure to understand the differences because this will impact your protection.
Find the Right Chemical Coverall Suit for Optimal Protection
These are a few of the most important considerations that you need to make if you are looking for a chemical coverall suit. If you are looking for a chemical coverall suit, then you need to take the time to consider all of these factors so that you can find the right suit to meet your needs.