Types of Skin
By: The Working Man
Make sure that hazardous chemicals or toxic dusts are not carried
home with you on your street clothes by using lab coats,
disposable protective clothing, or work clothes that you remove
immediately and leave at your workplace. Remember that lab coats
provide only limited protection from liquids, and if you are
splashed with dangerous chemicals remove your lab coat
immediately and dispose of it according to your employer's
If you are working around low-risk chemicals, lab coats made from
cotton rather than man-made materials are recommended. Wear a lab
coat both to protect your work clothing and also provide some
protection from minor chemical splashes.
Work clothing that is kept onsite or offsite and that receives
proper care and cleaning instruction will protect you from
various liquids, dusts, aerosols and chemicals. Work clothing is
usually more durable and thicker than ordinary street clothing;
however it will not protect you should the material become soiled
with a chemical or cleaner. In cases where you could be exposed
to a lot of harmful liquids you should wear some Tyvek or other
disposable clothing over the work clothing.
When pouring or using corrosive liquids like hydrofluoric acid,
phenol, and the like, be sure to wear rubber or vinyl sleeves and
aprons. Nomex lab coats and face shields should be worn when
working with or near materials which may self-ignite on contact
with air are used.
When contact with hazardous materials with your protective
clothing is likely, such as during pesticide application or spill
cleanup, polyethylene coated Tyvek or similar clothing should be
used for additional protection. The limitations of the protective
clothing must always be understood, particularly in situations
where contact with the hazardous material is likely.
For needs such as flame resistance, thermal protection, comfort
and durability, Nomex® is a common choice. It has thermal
technology which resists intense heat and flame and the other
hazards associated with electric arcs and flash fires.
Firefighters and emergency personnel around the world use turnout
gear, EMS wear, Stationwear and accessories made of Nomex® and
Kevlar® brand fibers.
Face Shields are available made from Polycarbonate, Lexan™ and
Propionate. Other choices are silver and gold coated shields for
heat applications and hard coated shields to protect from
abrasion and chemicals. You may need shields to protect against
Ultraviolet (UV) light and against Infrared light such as is used
in welding, or one of the other specialty shields such as steel
mesh and nylon mesh screens.
Employers should ensure that all employees are taught and have
practiced the appropriate ways to remove protective clothing,
especially any that has become contaminated. Cleaning and/or
disposing of contaminated apparel may require special procedures.
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