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Ebola: improving the design of protective clothing for emergency workers allows them to better cope with heat stress and help to contain the epidemic.

Kuklane K, Lundgren K, Gao C, Löndahl J, Hornyanszky ED, Östergren PO, Becker P, Samuels MC, Gooch P, Sternudd C, Albin M, Taj T, Malmqvist E, Swietlicki E, Olsson L, Persson K, Olsson JA, Kjellstrom T - Ann Occup Hyg (2015)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1.Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology, Design Sciences, Lund University, PO Box 118, 22100 Lund, Sweden E-mail: kalev.kuklane@design.lth.se.

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In addition, the current design of protective clothing might curtail their working capacity severely in the hot and humid climate of West Africa and, in addition, paradoxically increase the risk of infection... Emergency work in full protective clothing including respiratory mask may lead to extreme heat stress in the hot climates resulting in shortened work time, dehydration, reduced professional judgement, and exhaustion... The chosen work load in impermeable and semipermeable clothing allows 40min or shorter exposure during the hottest periods (Fig. 1) until the core temperature exceeds the suggested safe limit for occupational exposure... Higher core temperature is associated with decreased mental performance and increased misjudgement and mistakes... Maximizing the moisture permeability and minimizing the clothing layers worn beneath the protective gear, provided that it should be resistant to penetration by body fluids, is a simple way of preventing heat stress and increasing the time spent inside the gear... A desirable addition would be personal cooling used inside the protective clothing, such as cooling vests with ice or phase change materials (PCMs; ) or filtered ventilated coveralls... With 2-h work time in protective gear, the number of required personnel could be halved with possible decrease in contaminated waste... The final choice of the cooling method depends on specific air temperature and humidity... Increasing air temperature and, especially, humidity do reduce the effectiveness of air cooling and increase the benefits of PCM products... The higher the melting temperatures are, the less effective cooling is... However, if the temperature gradient is about 6°C or greater, the PCM can still provide a cooling effect... Estimation is based on the work time predictions given in Fig. 1 for the hottest work periods, i.e. 30min for the impermeable set and 2h for the new system that prolongs work period by higher permeability or by use of a cooling device... Infection risks are diminished due to the reduced need for undressing and cleaning procedures... In conclusion, reducing the risk of infection among the front-line healthcare workers and allowing a doubling of their work capacity could be a critical factor to successfully contain the epidemic.

No MeSH data available.


Continuous work times for a work rate of 300W at different air temperatures before reaching a core temperature limit at 38.5°C in clothing with different moisture permeability (im).
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Figure 1: Continuous work times for a work rate of 300W at different air temperatures before reaching a core temperature limit at 38.5°C in clothing with different moisture permeability (im).

Mentions: The modified Predicted Heat Strain (ISO 7933, 2004) model was used to indicate the expected work times (Fig. 1). The estimation was made based on the following assumptions. Standard man was chosen for the model calculations. Medium heavy activity (300W) was taken as the average work rate. The core temperature limit to cease such emergency work was set to 38.5°C. Three clothing types with different moisture permeability (im) were selected for comparison: an impermeable outer layer (im = 0.00), a semipermeable outer layer (im = 0.07), and a relatively tight but still permeable outer layer (im = 0.20). The basic clothing insulation in all cases was theoretically taken as 1 clo (0.155 m2K W−1) for comparative purposes. In all air temperature conditions, the other environmental factors were kept constant. Ambient water vapour pressure was set to 3.0 kPa, air velocity/body motion was 1 m s−1, and there was assumed no radiation effect present (work indoors or in shade).


Ebola: improving the design of protective clothing for emergency workers allows them to better cope with heat stress and help to contain the epidemic.

Kuklane K, Lundgren K, Gao C, Löndahl J, Hornyanszky ED, Östergren PO, Becker P, Samuels MC, Gooch P, Sternudd C, Albin M, Taj T, Malmqvist E, Swietlicki E, Olsson L, Persson K, Olsson JA, Kjellstrom T - Ann Occup Hyg (2015)

Continuous work times for a work rate of 300W at different air temperatures before reaching a core temperature limit at 38.5°C in clothing with different moisture permeability (im).
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4325665&req=5

Figure 1: Continuous work times for a work rate of 300W at different air temperatures before reaching a core temperature limit at 38.5°C in clothing with different moisture permeability (im).
Mentions: The modified Predicted Heat Strain (ISO 7933, 2004) model was used to indicate the expected work times (Fig. 1). The estimation was made based on the following assumptions. Standard man was chosen for the model calculations. Medium heavy activity (300W) was taken as the average work rate. The core temperature limit to cease such emergency work was set to 38.5°C. Three clothing types with different moisture permeability (im) were selected for comparison: an impermeable outer layer (im = 0.00), a semipermeable outer layer (im = 0.07), and a relatively tight but still permeable outer layer (im = 0.20). The basic clothing insulation in all cases was theoretically taken as 1 clo (0.155 m2K W−1) for comparative purposes. In all air temperature conditions, the other environmental factors were kept constant. Ambient water vapour pressure was set to 3.0 kPa, air velocity/body motion was 1 m s−1, and there was assumed no radiation effect present (work indoors or in shade).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1.Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology, Design Sciences, Lund University, PO Box 118, 22100 Lund, Sweden E-mail: kalev.kuklane@design.lth.se.

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

In addition, the current design of protective clothing might curtail their working capacity severely in the hot and humid climate of West Africa and, in addition, paradoxically increase the risk of infection... Emergency work in full protective clothing including respiratory mask may lead to extreme heat stress in the hot climates resulting in shortened work time, dehydration, reduced professional judgement, and exhaustion... The chosen work load in impermeable and semipermeable clothing allows 40min or shorter exposure during the hottest periods (Fig. 1) until the core temperature exceeds the suggested safe limit for occupational exposure... Higher core temperature is associated with decreased mental performance and increased misjudgement and mistakes... Maximizing the moisture permeability and minimizing the clothing layers worn beneath the protective gear, provided that it should be resistant to penetration by body fluids, is a simple way of preventing heat stress and increasing the time spent inside the gear... A desirable addition would be personal cooling used inside the protective clothing, such as cooling vests with ice or phase change materials (PCMs; ) or filtered ventilated coveralls... With 2-h work time in protective gear, the number of required personnel could be halved with possible decrease in contaminated waste... The final choice of the cooling method depends on specific air temperature and humidity... Increasing air temperature and, especially, humidity do reduce the effectiveness of air cooling and increase the benefits of PCM products... The higher the melting temperatures are, the less effective cooling is... However, if the temperature gradient is about 6°C or greater, the PCM can still provide a cooling effect... Estimation is based on the work time predictions given in Fig. 1 for the hottest work periods, i.e. 30min for the impermeable set and 2h for the new system that prolongs work period by higher permeability or by use of a cooling device... Infection risks are diminished due to the reduced need for undressing and cleaning procedures... In conclusion, reducing the risk of infection among the front-line healthcare workers and allowing a doubling of their work capacity could be a critical factor to successfully contain the epidemic.

No MeSH data available.