In work and at play the human body needs to be guarded from potential dangers such as fire, airborne diseases, and chemical burns. This protection can be provided by specialist clothing that can either be worn over or under other garments.
Being made of a material comprising 69% Modal viscose, 28% aramid, 1% carbon fibre and 2% elastane, the Sparco Pro Tech RW-9 undershirt (1) is designed to protect a racing driver from heat and flames in a crash. The Alpinestars racing gloves (2) are also made of a flame-resistant material. Nomex® is an aromatic nylon which was first marketed by DuPont in 1967 and is still used by most leading racing drivers today. Normally light and flexible, it carbonises and thickens on exposure to intense heat forming a protective barrier between the heat and the skin. It has low flammability and a high melting point.
Fire, particularly around flammable products, is possibly one of the most frightening and immediate dangers in the workplace. The ArcoPro jacket (3) is also made of Nomex® which is useful in the workplace as it has anti-static properties therefore reducing the chance of an electrostatic discharge spark that could lead to the ignition of vapours, aerosols, or flammable liquids causing an explosion.
Burns caused by acid, alkaline or caustic chemicals are just as damaging as flame-based burns. The polyvinyl chloride (PVC) coating on the knitted base fabric of the coveralls (4), along with the welded seams, prevent chemicals being absorbed by clothing and coming into contact with the skin potentially causing significant irritation and damage.
Healthcare professionals are at risk of contamination from the bodily fluids of extremely sick patients. Full face masks, such as the Honeywell Uvex Bionic Faceshield (5) with its polycarbonate visor, can be worn alongside a respirator and goggles. This shield has been approved for use in extremely risky environments, and protects the wearer from impact, chemical splash, and airborne debris.