Nuclear Powerplant Protective clothing
Nuclear facilities and powerplants often require custom disposable protective clothing to protect workers in highly specific and sometimes unique applications. Industry hazards can be divided into two main categories:
- Ionizing radiation hazards (gamma rays and x-rays)
- Radioactive particles and liquids contaminated with radioactive materials
PPE should be chosen based on the risk of contamination, as well as the role and specific tasks of the worker. A hazard risk assessment should always be performed to identify all hazards present and to determine if one of our garments is suitable for the intended application.
Nuclear Safety: Radioactive Chemical & Particulate Contamination
Workers at a powerplant or working in contamination protection are the most at risk to radiation exposure. However, even individuals involved in nuclear research and testing, decommissioning, reprocessing, site inspections, or general maintenance are at risk.
Radioactive contaminated particles such as dust, dirt, and silica can become airborne or settle on surfaces making them to inhale, ingest, or transfer. Exposure can also happen through chemical splash—toxic chemicals and acids are dangerous on their own, but they can also become contaminated with radioactive materials. When exposure can’t be avoided, PPE and protective clothing should be worn correctly to decrease exposure.
An Answer to The Most Common Question about Nuclear Industry PPE
Do coveralls protect against radiation in a nuclear emergency (nuclear bomb explosion, radioactive fallout, visiting radioactive sites)?
No. No protective suit exists that can fully protect against a bomb blast and the electromagnetic radiation (gamma rays, X-rays) and particle radiation (alpha & beta particles) that is released.
The fabric used in disposable (single use) protective clothing for nuclear applications does not provide a barrier to ionizing radiation. It not designed to block the radiation itself; instead, it is designed to minimize the penetration of radioactive liquids and particulates.
About Disposable Nuclear Protective Clothing
Disposable nuclear clothing is the best option for reducing the risk of accidental exposure to radioactive materials. After completing a task, contaminated garments should always be immediately removed and properly disposed of on-site to reduce exposure time and to prevent the transfer of radioactive materials to areas beyond the workspace (personal vehicles, breakroom areas, restrooms, etc.). Without disposable workwear, cross-contamination is a higher risk.
The fabric used for handling radioactive materials can provide a limited barrier against radioactive alpha or beta particles. This keeps contact with underlying clothing and skin at a minimum. If the fabric is chemical-resistant, it can help reduce exposure to radioactive liquids, chemicals, sprays, and particles.
Nuclear industry personnel who come in direct or potential contact with radioactive contaminated materials should opt for more body coverage. Coveralls with an attached hood and boots provide the most full-body coverage. The hood has the added benefit of protecting the hair from airborne radioactive particles.
Always consider seam construction, material or fabric type, testing data, and the application before selecting PPE. The protective clothing should have specific design features that reduce exposure to the hazards identified in the hazard risk assessment. This also applies to additional PPE such as respirators, gloves, boots, googles, etc.
What Nuclear PPE does International Enviroguard offer?
International Enviroguard’s wide variety of disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) and accessories that minimizes the number of radioactive particles that can penetrate fabric or transfer with other substances by liquid permeation. Each protective garment is thoroughly tested in nuclear environments to ensure safety, fit, performance, and value meet regulations and expectations.
ChemSplash® 1 protective clothing and fabric provides excellent protection against toxic particulates, alkalis, blood, acids, caustics, and light duty chemicals. This product line also includes chemical splash aprons and chemical protective sleeves for nuclear applications.
- Designed for light to medium duty applications
- Available with or without an attached hood and/or boots
- Serged or taped seams available
- Category III: Products which are worn or held to protect against any hazard which may be harmful and life threatening
- Type 5 BS EN ISO 13982-1:2004: Dry particle suits for protection against hazardous dusts and any dry particulates
- Anti-static EN 1149-1: Maximum surface resistivity of 5x1010 ohms
- Type 6 BS EN 13034:2005: Reduced spray suits for protection against light spray and splashes of liquid of chemicals where there is no directional spray or buildup of liquid on the suit, but there may be a fine mist of droplets in the atmosphere
ChemSplash® 2 protective clothing and fabric provides heavy-duty protection against a broader range of heavy-duty chemicals, toxic particulates, alkalis, blood, acids, and caustics.
- Designed for aggressive and heavy-duty chemicals, acids, and caustics
- Available with or without an attached hood and/or boots
- Taped seams only
- Anti-static EN 1149-5-2018 – Part 1: Passes material and design requirements for electrostatic dissipative protective clothing
Long-Sleeved Chemical Coat Apron: Resists penetration of common nuclear industry chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, nitric acid, acetone, isopropyl alcohol, and more.
- Designed with 6 mil thick blue vinyl for liquid and abrasion resistance
- Ties at the neck and waist offer a more adjustable fit
- Long sleeves with double-sealed, tunnelized elastic wrists to contain particle shed
- Ultrasonically sealed seams enhance liquid resistance
- Clean-processed and individually bagged in cleanroom conditions
Accessories for Hair Coverage
Covering exposed hair can help minimize the number of radioactive particles that land on the hair by holding it back securely. It also helps reduce workplace and product contamination from hair, dander, saliva, and other materials generated by the wearer.
Polypropylene Beard Covers: Universal size. White color only. Latex-free elastic closure.
Polypropylene Head and Face Hood “Ninja Hood”: This hood covers head hair and facial hair. It’s a terrific alternative to wearing a separate bouffant and beard cover. Universal size. White color only.
ChemSplash 1 is the first breathable chemical splash barrier for many toxic industrial chemicals, reducing heat stress for wearers.
- High moisture vapor transmission rate means cooler chemical protection versus competitive chemical suits.
- Proven protection for a wide range of industrial chemicals that meets ISO 6350 and EN 368 standards.
This chemical splash barrier is designed for use with stronger acids and caustics. ChemSplash® 2 fabric is lighter and more pliable than many competitive fabrics, providing better comfort and mobility for the wearer.
- Utilizes a proprietary laminated fabric with a broad range of chemical protection.
- Offers significant physical strength for workers who need a wide range of movement while working in demanding chemical work situations.
- Is perfect for workers in general chemical and petrochemical environments.
A breathable garment that provides an excellent particulate barrier, along with protection from light splashes and sprays. Good for general cleanup work and for guarding against dirt, dust and grime.
Chemical Coated Apron
These heavy-duty, chemical-resistant aprons are made of PVC and designed to protect against acids, alcohol, oils, grease, fats, and a variety of chemicals. Our PVC aprons are liquid-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and puncture-resistant to withstand tough work environments. _6 mil thick PVC-coated, long-sleeved apron protects against chemicals, non-hazardous particulates, acids, oils, splashes, sprays, and more
- _Made with latex-free elastic; ties at the neck and waist in the back