NC_OLD170: Personal Protective Technologies for Current and Emerging Occupational Hazards
- October 01, 2007 to September 30, 2012
- Administrative Advisor(s):
- NIFA Reps:
Statement of Issue(s) and Justification:Current events from hurricanes to sabotage of transportation systems highlight the importance of improving personal protective equipment for "first responders" and "first receivers" as well as members of the agricultural community. The proposed project will address the needs of all three groups and facilitate transfer of best practices among them.
America's first line of defense in any terrorist attack or natural disaster is the "first responder" community - local police, firefighters, and emergency medical professionals as well as the "first receivers" in medical care facilities. There are over 1 million firefighters in the United States, of which approximately 750,000 are volunteers. Local police departments have an estimated 556,000 full-time employees, sheriffs' offices have an estimated 291,000 full-time employees, and there are over 155,000 nationally registered emergency medical technicians (EMT). According to the Department of Homeland Security "Properly trained and equipped first responders have the greatest potential to save lives and limit casualties after a terrorist attack." (http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/editorial/editorial_0197.xml). Current U.S. capabilities for responding to a terrorist attack or natural disaster vary widely across the country. Even the best prepared states and localities do not possess adequate resources to respond to a full range of terrorist threats. (Source: First Responder Website.) Without clothing that is more protective and suitable for first responders at a variety of levels of preparedness, these people face an unacceptable level of risk.
Personal protective technologies protect individuals from a wide range of existing and potential occupational health hazards. Researchers and designers with expertise in textiles and apparel play an important role in the development of textile materials and garments to address protective clothing needs for various occupations. The education of stakeholders in the appropriate use and integration of personal protective equipment (PPE) is an important part of the development and use of these systems.
The development of effective PPE and training personnel in its use are the focus of NC-170 research. The group is recognized in the agricultural community for leadership in addressing the protective clothing needs of pesticide applicators. We have recently taken the lead in the development of national and international standards in this area. Our established track record as NC-170 researchers and the transferability of the existing body of knowledge to address similar issues for additional occupations clearly positions us to address the needs of other stakeholder groups; firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians, emergency room personnel and armed forces personnel.
Since the hazards facing first responders are often unknown, these people must be prepared for multiple hazards. This entails provision of and training with multiple types of clothing and equipment. There is a need to examine this issue from a systems perspective. Whatever hazard is being considered, the success of protective clothing is dependent on multiple interacting issues. Garment design, user input, textile properties, anthropometric data, garment/equipment interaction, worker acceptance, thermoregulatory response, range of movement, decontamination, and cost all affect the selection or performance of protective clothing. Clothing that protects the worker from the hazard at the expense of mobility or thermal response will affect work performance; clothing that does not fit well cannot offer protection or safety; and clothing components not considered from a systems perspective may leave areas of the body exposed to the environmental hazard. Basic work in human factors related to PPE is required to develop the knowledge base in the field to address these issues. Resolving these complex issues for the first responder community requires materials and prototype development, testing, design and redesign in an iterative process using systems thinking and research collaboration in order to find optimum solutions. The facilitation of research collaboration and communication with users can be optimized with the development of communication systems and strategies that make information available for all researchers, designers, and users of the technologies under development. The approach that we have designed for this project is broadly divided into three major stages: materials research, garment design, and development of communication systems. Progressing from concept to a viable outcome requires iterative work within each stage as well as collaborative work among the stages of the process. See attachment for a schematic illustrating this process.
Research activities related to work for first responders and first receivers is in an early phase of research and design development. Work on protection for the agricultural community is in more advanced stages of the process and the development of communication systems for users of PPE for pesticide applicators is underway.
Related, Current, and Previous Work:Our previous work, Regional Project NC-170 titled Occupational Safety and Health Through the use of Protective Clothing (October 1, 2002, through September 30, 2007) focused on the following three objectives:
Objective 1: To improve protection and human factor performance of PPE through product development.
Objective 2: To examine acceptance and barriers to acceptance of PPE products and practices.
Objective 3: To develop performance specifications for protective clothing materials.
Much of this work focused on protective clothing for agricultural workers, with additional work on PPE for wildland firefighters and the development of a cooling system for use with chemical protective clothing.
In recent work computer models have been developed to predict both comfort and protective qualities of fabrics used in PPE based on parameters such as air permeability and moisture transport (Lee and Obendorf, 2001, 2005; Zhang and Raheel, 2003; Jain and Raheel, 2003). Past NC-170 projects also investigated the design, barrier properties, structural integrity, decontamination, and wearer perceptions of PPE. Researchers generated data on the fundamental mechanisms of PPE material/product contamination, particularly transport of chemicals from fabric through skin (Obendorf et al. 2003), and work on surface modification of membranes to improve protective qualities (Tan and Obendorf 2006). Work on the development of electrospun materials for protection (Lee and Obendorf, in press), and investigations of the relationship between effectiveness and comfort have also been done (Lee and Obendorf, in press). To understand the barrier efficacy of textile substrates, the mechanism of contamination and distribution of the chemical contaminant in various textile geometries (Raheel and Getz, 1985; Raheel, 1988; Shaw, 1993); the textile chemistry, surface energy, and porosity of the substrate (Raheel, 1989; Shaw, 1992; Raheel and Dai, 2000); the chemical nature, molecular size, solubility parameters, multicomponent chemicals and different formulations of the chemical/pesticide (Schwope, 1987; Raheel and Dai, 1998; Lee and Obendorf, 2001 ); and the chemical interaction/degradation of the substrate (Shaw et al., 1996; Shaw and Lin, 1993) have been investigated. Also, chemical interaction studies were done on PPE materials to assess chemical degradation that influences physical, mechanical, and barrier properties of PPE materials and products (Raheel and Dai, 1997). The effects of abrasion from decontamination practices, the effects of soil or perspiration on chemical transmission through PPE (Nelson et al., 1993; Raheel, 1991a and b), and the relationships between deposition patterns of pesticide residues on applicator clothing and the type of application equipment used in greenhouses (Obendorf et al. 1996), orchards (DeJonge et al. 1985) and vineyards (Coffman et al. 1999) were studied. Pesticide transfer from contaminated PPE to human skin or to other clothing due to contact (Obendorf et al., 1994), or to other family clothing due to refurbishing practices (Laughlin and Gold 1988) was studied. An expansive PPE decontamination literature was created by NC-170 researchers and others (Keashall et al., 1986; Kim et al., 1988; Laughlin et al., 1988 and 1991; Nelson et al., 1992; Raheel, 1987; Stone et al. 1993).
Work has been done on finding effective and affordable methods of introducing biocidal properties into materials used for protective clothing. Nomex IIIa fabrics have been converted to biocidal halamine structures by simple chlorine bleaching (Sun and Sun, 2003 and 2004). Under a regular chlorine bleaching condition, Nomex (Nomex IIIa 5.5 oz/yd2) fabrics acquire desired antibacterial functions that survive many repeated launderings. More interestingly, the antibacterial functions are renewable under the same chlorination conditions. Work on the measurement of active chlorine amounts on the chlorinated fabrics in order to substantiate antibacterial properties is ongoing. This work indicates that Nomex IIIa fabrics can be converted to N-halamine Nomex structures with simple chlorine bleaching under certain conditions, and the N-halo structures can provide desired biocidal functions. The N-halamine structures on the Nomex fabrics are shown to be stable under normal laundering conditions, assessed by measuring the chlorine value. Fire resistance, radiant heat protective properties and tensile strength of the Nomex fabrics are unchanged after repeated laundry bleaching and UV exposure, showing that this novel treatment of Nomex fabric does not affect its durability (Sun and Sun, 2004; Sun and Worley, 2005; Qian and Sun, 2005).
Extensive work has been done to develop and test methods of assessing garment fit using the 3D body scanner through visual analysis (Ashdown et al, 2005; Ashdown et al, 2004) and one-, two-, and three-dimensional measures of clothed and unclothed subjects to asses the relationship between the body and clothing (Loker, et al, 2005). Methods of acquiring and analyzing surface area data, slice area data and volumes from the scans have been developed (Lee et al, 2006, Loker et al, 2005). These methods have been applied to the analysis of functional clothing fit and function. Analysis of scan data collected in working positions have been completed including comparison of data from seated/standing positions, data from different arm and shoulder movements (Lee and Ashdown, 2005), and data from torso bending and twisting positions (Nam et al, 2005). Other methods for the analysis of fit and function of protective clothing have been developed (Ashdown and Watkins, 1992 and 1996; Bye et al., 2006). A cooling vest designed to prevent heat stress for wearers of chemical protective equipment has been designed and tested in active positions (Branson et al., in press; Cao et al., in press).
In the area of PPE for firefighters, work has been done on testing material properties, and also on protective garments. Testing of the transport properties and radiant protection provided by the multilayer fabric systems used in protective gear for wildland firefighters has been conducted (Sun et al, 2000; Yoo et all, 2000). An evaluation of the performance of protective garments worn by wildland firefighters has also been conducted (Rucker et al, 2000)
Work on the use of glove liners for improved comfort has been done (Branson et al. 1998; Stone et al., 2005) and information on this and other topics related to protective clothing for agricultural workers has been disseminated in multiple formats (Branson et al., 1997; Guo et al., 2000; Stone et al., 1994, Coffman, 2002; Coffman, 2003; Coffman, 2004a; Coffman, 2004b; Coffman et all, 2004). Recent surveys of pesticide applicators in Iowa, Michigan, and New York reveal a lack of understanding of the tradeoffs between the use of PPE and the use of engineering controls (Derksen et al., 1999). Work continues on making information on revisions of regulations for agricultural workers (such as respirator and glove liner changes) available to pesticide applicators and pesticide educators in an easily understood format and in a variety of media.
Considerable work has also been conducted on standardization of test methods to measure performance of fabrics against liquid pesticides (Shaw, 2005; Shaw et al., in press). An extensive database that includes performance data for over one hundred work and protective clothing materials is the basis for an online system under development on work and protective clothing for agricultural workers (Shaw, 2004).
Performance specification drafts have been developed and submitted to F 23 Committee on Protective Clothing of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and submitted to the International Standards Association (ISO) for review and adoption as a standard.
CRIS searches revealed one active regional project, in addition to the current NC-170, that considers textiles in relation to human physiological responses. The S-1002 project is focused on the development of new technologies for the utilization of textile materials. The objectives of S-1002 are listed below:
Objective 1: Development of Value Added Products from Renewable/Recyclable Resources
Objective 2: Development of Bio-Processing and Related New Technologies for Textile Applications
Objective 3: Development and Evaluation of Textile Systems for Protective and Medical Applications
Objective 4: Development of Textiles with Enhanced Resistance (or Susceptibility) to Environmental Degradation
Of these, only the third objective seems to include some overlap with our project as it addresses textiles for protective and medical applications. However, the scope of the S-1002 proposal is very different as their research focuses on specific protective clothing applications such as UV protection and medical applications that address different needs than those we will research in our proposed project.
- Develop and evaluate new textiles and materials systems and processes: A. Material development; B. Performance testing and evaluation; C. Technology transfer.
- Design and evaluate garment systems and processes: A. Garment design; B. Performance testing, human factors testing and evaluation; C. Technology transfer.
- Establish a communication and education system for personal protective technology: A. Create a public online system for protective clothing communities; B. Facilitate research across university, government, and industry; C. Address user needs, collect user input, and provide user training and education.
Product Development Studies
The work to be accomplished for the first two objectives includes developing and testing new materials, new finishes for materials, and prototype garments. The initial projects will include:
Development of a membrane coated fabric system that will be both air-permeable and will provide durable and rechargeable biocidal and chemical detoxifying functions;
Testing of multi-layer textile systems to characterize thermal properties for protective clothing
Development of smart clothing that integrates sensors into textiles and protective clothing to provide early alert for first responders, and agricultural and industrial workers.
Development of protective clothing to improve fit and function in active positions for first responders and first receivers
Objective 1: Develop and evaluate new textiles and materials systems and processes
Participating states: CA, NY, OK
Clothing materials are the last line of defense protecting the human body from exposure to any potential hazards. Because of this fact, multi-functional protective clothing should be developed for first responders who may face heat, fire, biological, and chemical hazards, in addition to ballistics. Protective clothing currently available cannot meet all challenges that may be needed. Most biological and chemical protective clothing cannot be worn continuously and comfortably for long duration. Much of the chemical protective clothing available is only suitable for single use and cannot be reused. For reusable protective clothing, effective decontamination after usage is a challenge.
This research team proposes a research project on the development of multi-functional clothing materials that can provide convenient reusable and rechargeable biological and chemical protection. The material design is based on the latest progress in biocidal fabrics and chemical protective microporous membranes. Halamine structures are proven safe to human and similar to chlorine bleach in biological and chemical detoxifying power (Sun et al. 2001). Halamine structures have been incorporated into different fabrics with different biocidal potentials. Fabrics with these structures have demonstrated rapid inactivation against a full spectrum of pathogenic diseases and even spores (Sun and Sun, 2002 and 2003). More interestingly the halamine fabrics were able to quickly oxidize some carbamate pesticides and other toxic agents and reduce their toxicity to humans (Ko et al., 2000). In fact, the halamine fabrics provide the same oxidative function against biological agents and could be defined as disinfectants.
At the same time much progress has been made on the development of new chemical and biological protective microporous membranes. Using a hybrid system of hydrophilic/hydrophobic membrane, the pore sizes of the miroporous membrane have been reduced. Membranes in very small pore size are able to maintain air permeability for comfort but serve as good physical barriers to many toxic agents. We propose to incorporate halamine structures into these membranes and we are confident that with this modification the membrane will also be able to provide self-decontamination functions. When halamine fabrics and microporous membranes are combined using lamination or coating technologies, as indicated in the above scheme, a new fabric system that has both air-permeable properties and biocidal and chemical detoxifying functions can be produced. Such a new material will be most suitable for first responders and other workers who face biological and chemical exposure in their working environment.
Characterization of this new material and existing materials in multi layer systems is a critical need in the development of PPE for first responders. For best protection against hazards such as fire, toxic chemicals, bullets, and shrapnel, protective clothing often has multiple layers. Heat stress is a frequent concern for those who wear this multiple layer protective clothing. Understanding the thermal performance of multi-layer textile systems provides essential information for protective clothing design to promote heat stress relief and comfort. However, there is limited knowledge on the thermal performance of multi-layer textile systems. Thermal performance of a variety of multi-layer textile systems will be evaluated using a sweating guarded hotplate, in order to build a database of thermal performance of these systems for protective clothing designers.
Objective 2. Design and evaluate garment systems and processes Participating states: CA, NY, MN, MO, OK, IA
Since the hazard that first responders face is often unknown, they must have protective clothing that can provide protection from multiple hazards. Whatever hazard is being considered, the success of protective clothing is dependent on multiple interacting issues. Anthropometric measures, garment sizing, garment design features, textile properties, garment/equipment interaction, worker acceptance and thermoregulatory response, decontamination, and cost all affect the performance of protective clothing. Clothing that does not fit well cannot offer protection or safety: clothing that protects the worker from the hazard at the expense of mobility or thermal response will impair the effectiveness of the first responder, and clothing components not considered from a systems perspective may leave areas of the body exposed to the environmental hazard. Resolving these complex issues for the first responder community requires prototype development, testing, and redesign using systems thinking and research collaboration in order to find optimum solutions.
First responders are located in small relatively isolated units such as firehouses and police stations, particularly in rural areas, and many times low technology and inexpensive solutions are desirable. There is a need to conduct focus groups with first responders and to use this information as an input into PPE improvement issues and to relate this information for policy purposes.
A development cycle based on user input and analysis of working positions which was developed for the design of PPE for agricultural workers will be used to address problems with first responder PPE. NC-170 researchers have established networks with numerous individuals and agencies relevant to the first responder community. For the first stage of this research these contacts will be consulted and other sources will be sought to develop collaborations to address the complex issues related to PPE. Focus groups, interviews, and questionnaires will be used to collect user input on protective clothing needs and problems. Developing an understanding of the fit and function of PPE when the wearer is in an active position or in motion is a critical part of the design process. This issue is often ignored until the final fit testing of the garment. For this project working positions engaged in during the performance of the first responders duties will be identified in this early stage of the research. These first steps in the process, the analysis of user needs and the analysis of active positions will provide data that will focus subsequent work.
One challenge in the development of protective clothing has been the design of systems to supply appropriate fit to users with a wide range of anthropometric variation. Two issues limited the resolution of this problem in the past, the lack of current anthropometric data to describe the civilian population and the lack of data on fit characteristics of garments for a variety of different body sizes, body shapes, working positions, and body movements. The 3-D body scanner is a new tool that is being used in research for the apparel industry and holds promise to revolutionize the way apparel is designed and sized. Two anthropometric surveys of the civilian U.S. population, CAESAR and SizeUSA have been completed using this technology (Robinette et al, 1999; Sorkin, 2004). These are the first attempts to collect anthropometric data from a representative U.S. civilian adult population since the 1940s. Previous to these studies reliable, representative anthropometric data of the civilian population were not available for the development of protective clothing. First responder and first receiver populations consist of male and female volunteer firemen, policemen and medical technicians of all ages and ethnicities, groups that generally reflect the overall population in their anthropometric configurations. Data from the SizeUSA survey will be used to characterize the first responder group and will inform the design and the creation of sizing systems for the PPE.
The use of a motion capture system (housed in the UMN Human Dimensioning Laboratory) to incorporate movement features into the designed PPE and to evaluate enhanced and/or restricted motion of subjects wearing the PPE prototypes will be used in the development process. Motion capture systems have been used by companies such as Nike to evaluate performance sportswear. We are not aware of studies that have used motion capture to design and assess function of PPE. Since ability to move freely while wearing PPE is crucial, use of this tool has the potential of contributing valuable information in design and assessment of PPE. Methods of using data from the motion capture system in conjunction with 3D body scan data will be developed for use in this project.
The overall process of design will be as follows: Analysis of activities and working positions of the user group, scanning of subjects from the user group (minimally clothed and also in the protective clothing) in a standing position and in active working positions, testing and analysis of fit data from the scans and from the motion analysis system, comparison of anthropometrics of the scanned subjects to the relevant demographic from the population, development of pattern and sizing system modifications based on these data, and creation and testing of a revised set of garments, either based on new concepts of garment design or by modifications of existing garments. In order to facilitate the design of the prototype garments design sessions will be conducted using video conferencing technology, a strategy which was used in the development of protective coveralls for pesticide workers. All designers from participating states will participate in developing or modifying pattern shapes and garment structures based on user needs and anthropometric data collected from body scans. New or modified prototypes will then be tested in the working position and in motion. Anthropometric data appropriate for the user group will be identified, and a sizing system recommended based on these data.
One important item of PPE equipment that is already under development is a portable cooling system worn with level A and B chemical protective ensembles to prevent thermal stress for first responders. Performance data on these cooling vests will be evaluated using thermal manikin tests and/or physiological human subject tests. Sizing issues for these cooling vests are complex. As the vests rely on close contact with the body in order to facilitate thermal transfer of heat from the body it is important that the sizing system accommodate a wide range of body types effectively. Sizing systems will be developed for the vests based on body scan data.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics, a total of 87 on-duty firefighter deaths occurred in the United States in 2005. The distribution of deaths by cause of fatal injury or illness in 2005 indicates that the largest portion of deaths (46%) fell into the category of sudden cardiac deaths (usually heart attacks). All of these sudden cardiac deaths were attributed to stress or overexertion. From 1995 through 2004, 449 firefighters, or almost half of the total number of firefighters who died while on duty, fell victims to sudden cardiac deaths (Fahy, 2005). The emerging pervasive wireless sensor networks (WSN) have ushered in a wide spectrum of novel applications in science, engineering, industry, and the military. Sensor nodes (also called motes) with the capabilities of sensing, computing, processing, and communicating data are deployed in certain environments widely and unobtrusively to accomplish high-level tasks such as object tracking, environmental monitoring, and health monitoring. Depending on applications, sensors that assess variables such as temperature and humidity can be incorporated into the mote. By integrating all WSN components including battery, motes and sensing elements into existing firefighter protective clothing, we will develop smart - clothing to monitor firefighters physiological parameters including temperature, perspiration rate, heart rate, oxygen blood saturation and to monitor their thermal environment (temperature outside protective clothing). Thus, firefighters will 'wear' the sensor network by donning their protective clothing which will provide an earlier alert of physiological stress. The design criteria for the introduction of this technology into PPE for firefighters include ease of donning, comfort, precise positioning of motes for effective sensing, non-invasive use of the technology, ease of changing batteries and detaching motes from clothing for cleaning. In addition to firefighters, overexertion and stress are the main concerns for other first responders such as HAZMAT workers in level A chemical protective clothing. The development of smart PPE for firefighters will provide a proof-of-concept to integrate WAS into clothing and the result can be applied in protective clothing development for a variety of first responders.
Objective 3: Establish a communication and education system for personal protective technology
Participating states: CA, NY, MD, MN, IA
The first step in this process is to create a communication network to facilitate research across university, government, and industry. Researchers in multidisciplinary areas such as polymer science, chemistry, microbiology, physics and design of protective clothing will be identified. Researchers from National Textile Center schools and other universities have committed to work as a team and focus on research that can produce multi-functional protective clothing for first responders. The research team will collaborate with manufacturers and users of the PPE.
The success of this research network is based on a complete understanding of current technologies and materials for existing protective clothing and the latest progress by all research laboratories and manufacturers in the field. An internet data base of current protective clothing materials will be created to summarize existing technologies and materials and to determine the next focus for research. Such a database can provide easy access for all researchers, manufactures and end users, and can be established immediately. This database will be designed to include protective functions, testing standards, fabric materials, and clothing fabrications and design features for all current protective materials and clothing designs. UMES has built a similar web system for clothing and materials that protect against pesticides (Shaw, 2004), which can serve as a prototype of format.
The success of the research network also depends on long term availability of financial support from agencies and industry. The goal is to quickly gain a high reputation in organized PPE research using the momentum of the NC 170 technical committee and making connections with other researchers, particularly with national labs and all related PPE manufacturers. By doing so we should be able to build this network into a government and industry supported research center. A comprehensive online system that serves as a 'one stop shop' for protective clothing information will be developed for users of PPE in the first responder community. The online system will be publicly available and will include an easy to use navigation system that will allow individuals easy access to information. The public computer database for protective clothing communities would include information about the material or garment, its availability, performance, selection, use, care, and maintenance. An online information collection system will be developed to obtain user input and user acceptance of protective clothing.
While this work is underway to collect and provide information on PPE for first responders, educational work already underway to address the needs of pesticide workers will continue. Educators and pesticide applicators in New York and Minnesota will be provided with the latest information on PPE. Information on improved PPE will be disseminated through annual workshops on safety in pesticide application.
Though the internet databases currently under development on PPE for pesticide applicators and the proposed online system for PPE for first responders will be important tools for dissemination of information for users, it has been reported that about only 20% of pesticide applicators use the Internet as their major information source. Therefore work will be undertaken both to teach use of the internet and to provide other educational resources. Educational materials will be based on a three-dimensional matrix: 1) barrier properties of PPE materials, 2) comfort properties of PPE materials, and 3) pesticide label statements. The matrix will be generated on the computer and translated into a chart and a hand-held manipulative tool/device. The charts will be printed as posters, included in informational brochures, posted on websites, and reproduced as slides, overhead transparencies, or PowerPoint presentations. The hand-held manipulative will be made of several layers of paper or plastic with window-like openings that can be aligned in several ways to show complex relationships of the matrix. Studies will be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the different types of educational materials.
A step-wise plan will be used that includes the following steps:
Prepare a detailed list of the type of information required for training for each audience. Use information from the database, worker exposure trials, and the performance specifications to develop the PPE recommendations for the user.
Develop both paper-based and hand-held devices, and CD and web-based systems containing the training materials to be used by extension agents during Farm Day, training sessions, and other venues. Test and redesign the training materials as needed.
Evaluate the different types of training materials by testing the knowledge gained from each set of materials.
Measurement of Progress and Results:
- Innovative materials for protective clothing to improve protection and comfort.
- Creative protective clothing designs to improve protection, function and comfort in active positions.
- New methods for collecting and analyzing human factor data on movement, body position, and apparel fit.
- Internet data base of protective materials, clothing and related products with information on commercial availability, performance, selection, use, care, and maintenance.
- Educational materials appropriate for users of protective clothing.
Outcomes or projected Impacts:
- Provide enhanced safety, function, and comfort to users of protective clothing.
- Improve communication among academic, governmental, and industry researchers concerned with protective clothing.
- Increase understanding by users regarding the performance, selection, use, care, and maintenance of protective clothing.
(2008): User input on protective clothing and best communication practices about protective clothing accessed. Methodologies for human factor testing using motion analysis and body scan technologies under development.
(2009): New materials developed. Website designed and initial data entry completed. Human factors testing of existing or prototype garments begun.
(2010): Website tested and ongoing system for entering information underway. Garment prototypes designed. New materials tested.
(2011): Industry participants sought for technology transfer of materials, materials produced in quantity where possible. New materials incorporated into garment prototypes where possible.
(2012): Working website available with materials and clothing information. Human factors testing of final garment prototypes completed.
Projected Participation:Include a completed Appendix E form
Outreach Plan:One of the proposed objectives for this project is focused on establishing a communication system for researchers, industry, and government as well as an education system for users of personal protective technology. The online database website created as part of our work will include information on commercial availability, performance, selection, use, care, and maintenance of PPE. We will also include educational materials developed by the researchers as well as extension training programs. Committee members from all participating states will contribute materials.
The results of the research conducted for this project will also be made available through presentations at national/international meetings, through submissions to refereed and non-refereed publications, special technical publications, and the annual reports published through NIMSS website. In addition, research information will be disseminated through individual interactions with textile companies, PPE manufacturers, and standards organizations such as ASTM and ISO.
Organization and Governance:The proposed members of the technical committee for this project are listed in Appendix E. For those states having more than one participant, one member will be designated as the voting member, as determined by that institution or AES director. The organizational structure consists of a chair, a vice chair, and secretary nominated and elected annually; the vice chair serves as chair the next year. Any member of the technical committee can serve as an officer. The chair will appoint subcommittee members as necessary to complete specific tasks. The officers along with the project USDA-CSREES representative and USDA-ARS administrative advisor will serve as the executive committee. The advisors will be non-voting members.
The chair is responsible for notifying the members of the date and place of the annual meeting, preparing an agenda, and presiding over the annual meeting. The chair also will be responsible for writing the annual report (SAES Form 422) for the year he/she serves as chair and filing it with the administrative advisor for distribution, within 60 days of the annual meeting of the technical committee. The vice chair will assume the duties of the chair in the event that the chair cannot do so. The vice chair will provide an annual review of the promotional and administrative items on the project website, and will be responsible for advance planning and organization of meeting sites. He/she will serve as chair for the next year. The secretary will be responsible for taking minutes of the annual meeting and filing them with the administrative advisor for distribution within 30 days of the meeting.
The duties of the technical committee (members in Appendix E) are to coordinate the research and other activities related to the project. The technical committee will meet annually (usually in the fall) for the purposes of coordinating, reporting, and sharing research activities, procedures, and results, analyzing data, and conducting project business. The administrative advisor will be responsible for sending the technical committee members the necessary authorization for all official meetings.
Subcommittees and meetings may be designated by the chair, if needed, to accomplish various relevant research and administrative tasks, such as research planning and coordination, the development of specific cooperative research procedures, assimilation and analysis of data from contributing scientists, and publication of joint reports.
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