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Heat stress and reduced work performance are often linked to work in protective clothing, especially when the rate of work or temperature or both of the environment are high. The resultant thermal insulation (IT) and evaporative resistance (RT) of garments and protective clothing systems have been measured using indirect calorimetry on subjects exercising in a climatic chamber. In different series of wear trials, the physiological responses associated with wearing these garments during 60 min of treadmill walking in hot environments (35 to 45°C, 30 to 40% relative humidity) were evaluated for young, male, healthy subjects. Obtained values for IT and RT were used in a physiological model to predict rectal temperature response to the same conditions as for the wear trials in order to compare predicted and measured rectal temperatures. The results showed that a combination of clothing heat exchange measurements on subjects and simple physiological modeling may be a useful technique for assessment of clothing thermal function.
heat stress, thermal insulation, evaporative resistance, moisture permeation, methods, predictive models, physiological responses, protective clothing
Professor, Climatic Physiology Unit, National Institute of Occupational Health, Solna,