SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1992

Protective Clothing for Health Care Workers: Liquidproofness Versus Microbiological Resistance


Simple simulated in-use tests on protective clothing products, such as leaning with the forearm or elbow on a 0.040 N/m (40 dyne/cm) synthetic blood soaked gauze surgical sponge, have provided both the basis for helping to understand which types of materials, under actual conditions of use, may be capable of providing a liquidproof level of protection and set the ground work for scientific laboratory bench top test device selection and protocol development. However, due to the high limit of detection, liquid penetration testing should only be used as a pre-screening tool to determine which protective clothing materials warrant further investigation with a confirmatory microbiological challenge. A minimum performance standard for liquidproof microbiological protective clothing is recommended. The standard test involves the ASTM F903 Penetration Cell, a one hour test period with a one minute 13.8 kPa (2 psi) pressure pulse, and the Phi-X174 Bacteriophage suspended in a 0.040 N/m microbial media.

Author Information

Brown, PL
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Developed by Committee: F23
Pages: 65–82
DOI: 10.1520/STP19152S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5194-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1430-2