Active Standard ASTM F2588 | Developed by Subcommittee: F23.30
Book of Standards Volume: 11.03
Historical (view previous versions of standard)
Significance and Use
This test method is intended to evaluate the penetration and permeation resistance for complete ensembles to vapors from chemical warfare agents and other chemical substances.
This test method differs from Test Method F1052 by providing an evaluation of ensembles worn on human test subjects and measuring the inward leakage of a chemical agent vapor simulant as it would be absorbed by the wearer’s skin. Test Method F1052 is not applicable to the range of protective ensembles that are evaluated by this test method.
This test method differs from Test Method F1359 by using a chemical agent vapor simulant as compared to a liquid challenge and in the use of human test subjects. This test method further provides a quantitative assessment of inward leakage for the chemical agent vapor simulant.
The use of this test method to determine the inward leakage of other chemical vapor threats must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
This test method is applied to complete ensembles consisting of a suit or garment in combination with gloves, footwear, respirators, and interface devices.
This test method permits any combination or configuration of ensemble elements and components, including ensembles where the respirator covers the face or head.
This test method accommodates protective ensembles or protective clothing having any combination of the following characteristics:
(1) the protective ensemble or clothing is constructed of air permeable, semipermeable, or impermeable fabrics,
(2) the protective ensemble or clothing is of a single or multi-layered design, or
(3) the protective ensemble or clothing is constructed of inert or sorptive fabrics.
MeS has been used as a simulant for chemical warfare agents. MeS is primarily a simulant for distilled mustard (HD) with a similar vapor pressure, density, and water solubility. The use of MeS in vapor form does not simulate all agents or hazardous substances to which ensemble wearers are potentially exposed.
The principal results of this test are physiological protective dosage factors that indicate the relative effectiveness of the ensemble in preventing the inward leakage of the chemical agent vapor simulant and its consequent dosage to the wearer’s skin as determined by the use and placement of personal adsorbent devices (PAD) on human test subjects.
Specific information on inward leakage of chemical agent vapor simulant is provided by local physiological protective dosage factors for individual PAD locations to assist in determining possible points of entry of the chemical agent vapor simulant into the ensemble.
The determination of the local physiological protective dosage factors is based on ratio of the outside exposure dosage to the inside exposure dosage on the wearer’s skin at specific locations of the body and accounts for the specific susceptibility of the average human’s skin at those locations to the effects of blister agent, distilled mustard using the onset of symptoms exposure dosages (OSED) at different points on the body. The specific OSED values used in this test method are based on the exposure concentration of distilled mustard that cause threshold effects to the average individual human in the form of reversible skin ulceration and blistering (1).
The body locations chosen for the placement of PADs were chosen to represent the range of body areas on the human body, with preference to those body areas generally near interfaces found in common two-piece ensembles with separate respirator, gloves, and footwear. Additional locations are permitted to be used for the placement of PAD where there are specific areas of interest for evaluating the inward leakage of the chemical agent vapor simulant.
Note 1—Common interface areas for protective ensemble include the hood to respirator facemask, clothing or suit closure, upper torso garment to lower torso garment, garment sleeve to glove, and garment pant cuff to footwear.
An assessment of the vapor penetration and permeation resistance for the entire ensemble is provided by the determination of a systemic physiological protective dosage factor. The same PAD data are used in a body region hazard analysis to determine the overall physiological protective dosage factor accounting for the areas of the body represented by the location, and the relative effects of the nerve agent, VX. A systemic analysis assists in the evaluation for those chemical agents, such as nerve agents, affecting the human body through a cumulative dose absorbed by the skin (2).
Examples of analyses applying PAD data for the assessment of ensemble inward leakage resistance are provided in NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensemble for Structural and Proximity Fire Fighting, and NFPA 1994, Standard on Protective Ensemble for CBRN Terrorism Incidents.
The general procedures in this test method are based on Test Operations Procedure (TOP 10-2-022), Man-In-Simulant Test (MIST) - Chemical Vapor Testing of Chemical/ Biological Protective Suits.
The human subject activities simulate possible causes of changes in ensemble vapor barrier during expected activities. These activities are primarily based on stationary activities provided in Part A of Practices F1154 and are intended to create movements that are likely to affect the integrity of the ensemble and its interface areas. Additional activities (such as dragging a dummy and climbing a ladder) have been added to simulate activities that might be used by first responders during emergency events such as rescuing victims from a terrorism incident involving chemical agents. The test method permits the modification of the activity protocol to simulate the specific needs of the protective ensemble application.
The length of the human subject exposure to the chemical agent vapor simulant is set at 30 min in the test chamber with a 5 min decontamination period. This test duration is intended to replicate a possible exposure of a first responder during a terrorism incident involving chemical agents. If a self-contained breathing apparatus is used, a 60-min rated respirator must be used or provisions made for supplemental umbilical air (through a supplied air system). The test method permits the adjustment of the exposure period to simulate the specific needs of the protective ensemble application.
Test results generated by this test method are specific to the ensemble being evaluated. Changing any part of the ensemble necessitates a new set of testing for the modified ensemble.
Additional information on man-in-simulant testing is provided in (3).
1.1 This test method specifies the test equipment and procedures for conducting tests to estimate the entry of chemical agent vapor simulant through protective ensembles while worn by test subjects.
1.2 This test method permits the evaluation of protective ensembles consisting of protective garments or suits, gloves, footwear, respirators, and interface devices.
1.3 The results of this test method yield local physiological protective dosage factors at individual locations of the human body as well as a systemic physiological protective dosage factor for the entire ensemble.
1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and to determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
E171 Practice for Conditioning and Testing Flexible Barrier Packaging
F1052 Test Method for Pressure Testing Vapor Protective Suits
F1154 Practices for Qualitatively Evaluating the Comfort, Fit, Function, and Durability of Protective Ensembles and Ensemble Components
F1359 Test Method for Liquid Penetration Resistance of Protective Clothing or Protective Ensembles Under a Shower Spray While on a Mannequin
F1494 Terminology Relating to Protective Clothing
F1731 Practice for Body Measurements and Sizing of Fire and Rescue Services Uniforms and Other Thermal Hazard Protective Clothing
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) StandardsNFPA1994 Standard on Protective Ensembles for CBRN Terrorism Incidents
ICS Number Code 13.340.10 (Protective clothing)