Reduce the risk of take-home toxins in the workplace
By Safety Solutions Staff
Friday, 01 September, 2017
Workers are exposed to many hazardous fine particles in the workplace. For example, asbestos and crystalline silica are hazardous fine particles prevalent in workplaces in Australia for many years and cause serious health effects on inhalation including silicosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Workers can unknowingly bring home these hazardous substances on their clothes, shoes, skin, tools and vehicle interiors, thus exposing family members to these toxins.
Regulations require that disposable protective coveralls for handling hazardous particles meet the EN13982-1 Type 5 standard. As the Total Inward Leakage (TILA) allowed under this standard is high (15% in 8 out of 10 suits tested), a more stringent standard of EN1073-2 Class 2, which requires Average TILA to be less than 2% for 6 suits tested, is desirable.
Workers using coveralls that meet the EN13982-1 Type 5 Standard may be unaware that up to 15% of the hazardous fine particles can enter the suit, which they may bring home through garments worn under the coveralls (unless properly decontaminated).
Manufactured only by DuPont using a unique flash-spinning process, Tyvek fabric is made of strong, continuous, high-density polyethylene fibres. Tyvek is a soft fabric that is intrinsically breathable, is low-linting and has inherent barrier properties, making it an ideal fabric for a wide range of protective applications.
Comparison of DuPont Tyvek with other single-use coverall fabrics
Microporous film (MPF) fabrics comprise a thin microporous film bonded to a spunbound polypropylene base. MPF offers limited durability since protection is lost when the protective film layer is abraded.
The performance of Spunbound/Meltblown/Spunbound (SMS) fabrics relies on a meltblown polypropylene layer sandwiched between two open polypropylene layers. SMS fabrics suffer from limited durability and relatively weak barrier performance. In addition, their high air permeability significantly compromises barrier properties, making them only really appropriate for very basic protection.
- Abrasion of the fabric: Abrasion can seriously undermine the protective efficiency of a fabric. Fabrics that rely on thin film (MPF) or have an inherently weak physical structure (SMS) can quickly and easily lose their resistance to penetration under operating conditions.
This phenomenon can be demonstrated by a hydrostatic pressure test which measures liquid barrier performance. Prior to the abrasion test, MPF fabric offers the best resistance to liquid pressure. But after just 10 cycles of abrasion, its performance takes a spectacular dive, while SMS is less affected but offers a much lower performance level. After abrasion, Tyvek penetration performance is the highest.
- Total Inward Leakage of the coverall: When comparing the barrier performance of DuPont Tyvek Classic Xpert coveralls with other Type 5 suits made of MPF and SMS, Tyvek shows a significantly lower Average Total Inward Leakage (TILA) according to EN ISO 13982-2, with an average value of less than 1%.
The Tyvek Classic Xpert Advantage
Tyvek Protective Apparel provides superior protection for workers. Companies around the world use more than 200 million Tyvek garments per year.
Tyvek Classic Xpert coveralls provide protection against hazardous fine particles 15 times better than the Type 5 Standard, allowing only 1% inward leakage. Not only when new, Tyvek Classic Xpert coveralls are engineered to provide superior protection and a balance of comfort and durability all day long.
Tyvek Classic Xpert – Superior Protection that lasts All Day!
Workers are exposed to many hazardous fine particles in the workplace.