In our blog article on selecting the right chemical protection suit, we have already indicated how important it is to take standards applicable to your area of work into consideration and how these standards play a key role in making the right decision. In this article, we provide you with a brief explanation of the individual standards.

In order to ensure optimal protection for individual hazardous areas, the European Union has defined harmonised standards for different protection classes (also called types) for chemical protection. This makes it much easier to choose the right protective clothing.

The protection type is confirmed by certification and indicates the kind of exposure for which the suit is suitable. Dust, liquids and gas have been used to test the protective clothing. Important criteria for determining the individual types were abrasion, tear resistance, tensile strength and puncture resistance – meaning that the requirements placed on the protective clothing through day-to-day use should be met.

This resulted in the following protection classes:

Protection class

Type 1

Standard

EN 943-2

Protection

Gas-tight protective clothing:
protection against solid, liquid and gaseous chemicals.

Symbol

EN 14605

Type 3

EN 14605

Liquid-tight protective clothing:
protection against a strong, directed jet of liquid.
-> Jet Test

Type 4

EN 14605

Liquid-tight protective clothing:
protection against liquid not under pressure.
-> Spray Test

EN 14605 Norm Symbol

Type 6

EN 13034

Partially spray-tight protective clothing:
protection against liquid mist.

EN 13034 Norm Symbol

Type 5

ISO 139872-1

Particle-tight protective clothing:
protection against solid airborne particles.

ISO 139872-1 Norm Symbol

The following additional standards also exist, which must be observed when selecting protective clothing:

EN 1149-5

Electrostatic properties
Material performance requirements and design requirements (ensure correct earthing!)

EN 1149-5 Norm Symbol

EN 14126

Performance requirements and test methods for protective clothing against infective agents

EN 14126 Norm Symbol

EN 1073-1

Protective clothing against radioactive contamination
-> does not protect against radioactive radiation!

EN 1073-1 Norm Symbol

DIN 32781

Protective suits against pesticides

DIN 32781 Normen Symbol

When selecting your chemical protection suit, you should therefore refer to the symbols in the table above in order to ensure the properties required for your field of work are covered.

 

Of course, the minimum physical and chemical requirements for the material and seams are also set out in a standard – EN 14325.

DIN EN ISO 13688 also defines the general requirements that apply to protective clothing in terms of ergonomics, innocuousness, ageing, size designation, compatibility, marking and the instructions to be supplied with each disposable coverall. This European standard is a reference standard that is referred to in all other specific protective clothing standards. It can therefore only be applied in conjunction with a specific standard.

Breakthrough time also plays an important role when testing protective work clothing. The breakthrough time is the time it takes for a chemical on the outer surface of a protective suit to penetrate through to the inside of the coveralls. Seams and zip pullers may have shorter breakthrough times, particularly in the event of previous wear or damage.
Detailed information on breakthrough times, which have been calculated under laboratory conditions, and further information on the tests performed on chemical protection suits can be found in the uvex Chemical Expert System:

www.ces.uvex.de

 

In addition to the aforementioned standards, there is another standard which plays a particularly important role in chemical protection: PPE Regulation EU 2016/425 – this standard governs the conditions for personal protective equipment (PPE). You can find out what this regulation is all about in our blog article “PPE Regulation – standards, guidelines & safety regulations”.

Please feel free to get in touch or visit our website if you require further information on the test methods we use or individual permeation tests. You can reach our uvex customer service team on 0800 66 44 893, or +49 911 97 36 0 if calling from abroad.

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