Medical Services' suit for protection against chemicals - an evaluation of the personal protective equipment for health and care personnel


  • Strömqvist Marianne
  • Arnoldsson Kristina
  • Claesson Ola

Publish date: 2005-01-01

Report number: FOI-R--1571--SE

Pages: 33

Written in: Swedish


The report describes an evaluation of the Medical Services´ suit for protection against chemicals. The evaluation has been performed largely in accordance with the suggestion in the pre-study, FOI-R--1131--SE, March 2004. The lack of limit values and basic data makes it difficult to specifiy the time it takes until the permeated/penetrated amount of a chemical reaches a dangerous level. Conclusions of the evaluation; - The suit material withstands the normal user scenario. None of the chemicals tested penetrated the suit material during these tests. Sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid and fluoridic acid change the colour of the material surface and makes it sticky within less than a minute. - The drop test, i.e. the evaluation of chemical permeation, gave different breakthrough times for the chemicals tested. Some substances permeate through the materials immediately, others after a couple of minutes. If a carbon based undergarment is added under the suit material the time to breakthrough of the substance is extended. Some exceptions should be noted; acetone, toluene and methanol immediately permeate also the combination of materials. The results make it difficult to define a general protection time for all the chemicals. - The CWA, mustard gas, quickly permeates through the material, but the permeated amount decreases to nanogram level when the material is combined with the undergarment. The nerve agents sarin and soman were tested solely on the combination of the suit material and the undergarment and the amount permeated is on a nanogram level for these agents also. The tendency is the same when tested with and without added pressure.