This Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics photo shows a chemical protective garment from its ONESuit line.

Standards, Fall Meeting Keep ISEA Busy

A revised eyewash and showers standard is available. Comments on a chemical apparel standard are due by Nov. 9, the opening day of the association's Fall Meeting.

ISEA has been busy this fall advancing consensus standards, advising the government about respiratory protection for H1N1 flu, and preparing for the Oct. 7 public hearing on EPA's proposed new rule for hearing protector testing and labeling. And ISEA's Fall Meeting will take place Nov. 9-11 at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington Va. Two of the latest standards actions are ANSI's approval of a new edition of the American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment, ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2009, and the current public review and comment period for ISEA's draft standard for chemical protective clothing, Draft ANSI/ISEA 103-200x.

Z358.1-2009 is comprehensive, addressing plumbed and self-contained emergency showers and emergency eyewash equipment, eye/face wash equipment, combination units, personal wash units, and hand-held drench hoses. A key feature in the 2009 edition is a temperature range for flushing fluid. "It is critical that persons in need of emergency flushing be provided with equipment that can adequately remove the hazardous contaminant from the skin or eye tissue without creating further discomfort," said Encon Safety Products General Manager Jim Johnson, chairman of the ISEA Emergency Eyewash and Shower Group. "By defining a suitable delivery temperature of 60 to 100 degrees F, the standard seeks to ensure that the victim continues flushing the affected area to minimize any damage." Copies of the new standard are available from ISEA for a cost of $56 for a single copy, with discounts available for bulk orders.

Comments are due by Nov. 9 on the chemical protective clothing standard, which was modeled on CEN and ISO standards activities by members of the ISEA Protective Apparel Group "and represents one of the first attempts at harmonizing testing and labeling of chemical protective clothing worldwide," according to ISEA. The draft contains guidance for end users choosing protective apparel for a variety of chemical hazards and for manufacturers' testing, categorizing, labeling, and performance levels for certification. Comments submitted during the first round of consensus and public review resulted in adding a requirement for certification and recertification garments and some in testing criteria, according to ISEA.

In the draft, the following garment categories are defined by matching the anticipated chemical exposure with material swatch and finished garment item test requirements:

  • Category 1: Gas tight suit (breathing air supply worn inside the suit)
  • Category 2: Gas tight suit (with breathing air supply worn outside the suit)
  • Category 3: Liquid tight suit (full body)
  • Category 4: Clothing resistant to pressure-sprayed liquids
  • Category 5: Particulate tight (full body)
  • Category 6: Full- or partial-body clothing and limited spray-tight clothing

Cristine Fargo (phone 703-525-1695), ISEA's manager of membership and standards services, said the draft standard fills a longstanding need. "Although OSHA provides references to performance-based standards for certain types of PPE, such as eye and face protection, until now there has been no consensus standard for the majority of chemical protective clothing worn by the U.S. workforce," she said.

The Fall Meeting will include product group chairs' reports, ISEA's 2010 Strategic Plan and budget, presentation of the Robert B. Hurley Distinguished Service Award to Ken Brown, a former 3M executive, and luncheon speaker Howard Fineman, a Washington, D.C., correspondent who is a Newsweek columnist and NBC News analyst.

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