NIOSH logo and tagline

Protective Clothing and Ensembles

Examples of protective clothing and ensembles

Protective Clothing

Protective Clothing and Ensembles Projects at NPPTL focus on methods to protect the skin from various health hazards that may be encountered in the workplace.

Contact us regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) concerns and questions:

  • Difficulty selecting PPE
  • Understanding the term “chemical resistant”
  • Matching appropriate equipment for different exposures
  • Ability to access and acquire the proper PPE
  • Understanding laws that govern PPE
  • Comfort level of PPE
  • PPE effectiveness
  • PPE functionality
  • PPE suitability to work tasks
  • Need to change or remove PPE
  • PPE durability

NOTE: In order to select the correct respirator, all of the contaminants that may be present and their concentrations must be known. The various respirator types have maximum use concentrations (the Assigned Protection Factor times the Exposure limit). Checking the Certified Equipment List or the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards may help you determine what respirator is appropriate. For other types of PPE, you may want to check the PPE-Info Database, which serves as a compendium of Federal regulations and consensus standards for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The purpose of the database is to provide standards developers, manufacturers, purchasers, and end users of PPE with a comprehensive tool which allows general or advanced criteria searches of relevant federal standards, associated product types, target occupational groups, basic conformity assessment specifications, and accredited lab information.


NIOSH Evaluation of Surgical Gowns

PPE CASE-Testing of Stockpiled ANSI/AAMI PB70 Level 3 Surgical Gowns
PPE CASE-Testing of Stockpiled ANSI/AAMI PB70 Level 4 Surgical Gowns [PDF – 260 KB]

Do You Have A Question About Personal Protective Equipment?

Considerations for Selecting Protective Clothing used in Healthcare for Protection against Microorganisms in Blood and Body Fluids
This document provides an overview of scientific evidence and information on national and international standards, test methods, and specifications for fluid-resistant and impermeable gowns and coveralls used in healthcare. This document focuses on selecting protective clothing primarily on the basis of their barrier properties.

NIOSH Research Highlights Importance of Rigorous Standards for Gowns Used to Protect Healthcare Workers

Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development – How NIOSH is Helping Design Improved Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers

How Well Do You Think You Are Protected?

Understanding proper use and disposal of protective gowns for healthcare workers

Isolation gowns in health care settings: Laboratory studies, regulations and standards, and potential barriers of gown selection and use

A Review of Isolation Gowns in Healthcare: Fabric and Gown Properties

Permeation Calculator
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2007-143C (Updated February 2016)
Chemical protective clothing is widely used to protect skin from hazards found in the workplace. It is also available for use during a terrorist attack. Data analysis for chemical protective clothing permeation testing involves a number of equations and experimental factors. Possible calculation errors are critical issues when determining permeation parameters. Additionally, the calculations of some of the permeation parameters are mathematically complex, which are difficult or time-consuming to be accurately calculated without a computer program.

Information for Pesticide Handlers

2013 Pesticide Handler Personal Protective Technology Stakeholders Meeting
The NIOSH 2013 Pesticide Handler Personal Protective Technology (PPT) Stakeholders Meetings focused on motivating pesticide handlers and pesticide workers in all industries to use best pesticide personal protective equipment (PPE) practices. View the Stakeholders Meeting Agenda, Abstracts, Presenter Biographies, and Slide Presentations.

Information for Emergency Responders

PPE for Emergency Responders