Unit 3.3: Personal protective equipment against chemical and biological hazards

Respiratory protective equipment, chemical protective clothing and gas measurement technologies

Test gas production in the laboratory

Test gas production for studying the suitability of test tubes
Source: IFA

Test in the laboratory

Permeation testing of chemical safety gloves
Source: IFA

The focus of the activities of unit 3.3 in Division 3 is on supporting the accient insurers by consulting them in questions of the selection and application of personal protective equipment (PPE) against chemical and biological agents and of technical measurements for gases and vapours. For special questions in practice, studies and research projects are initiated and conducted, such as on the reuse of respiratory protection filters and on the suitability of direct reading tubes.

Manufacturers of respiratory protective devices, chemical protective clothing (including gloves and shoes) and of measuring and sampling devices for gaseous hazardous substances can send in their products for type testing according to the applicable - primarily European - standards. After the tests in the framework of a certification procedure (for PPE according to Directive 89/686/EEC) are successfully concluded, an EU type test certificate is awarded and an agreement on the obligatory inspection measures can also be undersigned. Both together is essential for the CE marking on the PPE. For measuring and sampling devices, certificates are issued and the mark "suitable for measuring hazardous substances" is provided.

Positive lists of the products tested and certified through IFA are published in the IFA manual (in German only) with the most recent information. Unit 3.3 is responsible for the product groups that cover filtering respiratory protection devices, chemical protective clothing, chemical safety gloves, direct reading and sorbent tubes. Experience in testing all the above-named safety relevant products is shared with the respective national and international standards-setting bodies (DIN, CEN, ISO) for the sake of occupational safety. The work in several bodies is coordinated under the direction of IFA.

Dust filters

Manufacturers of dust filter materials and elements for use in dust removing equipment can obtain a IFA test certificate in accordance with an international standard (IEC 60335-2-69: 1992), which largely corresponds to the earlier BIA procedure. Positively tested materials are entered into a continuously updated positive list.

Dermal exposure

Activities for detecting, estimating and avoiding skin exposure to hazardous substances (dermal exposure) are coordinated amongst the Social Accident Insurance Institutions.

Contact:

Christoph Thelen

Division 3: Hazardous substances: handling, protective measures

Tel: +49 2241 231-2503
Fax: +49 2241 231-2234