SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1992

Comparative Responses to Exercise-Heat Stress of Two Chemical Protective Garments


Rectal (Tre) temperatures, heart rates and other physiological parameters of twelve volunteer subjects were measured while walking in environmental chambers on a level treadmill at 1.34 m·s-1 for a maximum of 100 min. Subjects replicated the testing while wearing two different chemical protective (CP) garments; the US issue Battledress Overgarment (BDO) and a candidate light-weight garment (LWG). The subjects wore the garments in three environments: 18°C (65°F), 70% rh; 32°C (90°F), 50% rh; and 32°C (90°F), 80% rh. The wind speed was constant at 1.1 m·s-1 (2.5 mph). In addition to the CP garment, subjects wore an M17Al mask with M6A2 hood, underwear, socks, combat boots, and CP vinyl rubber overshoes and gloves with all closures fastened. Prior to testing, subjects drank 600 ml H2O, dressed and were weighed, then entered the chamber for a 20 min baseline prior to walking. Exercise was continuous with no scheduled breaks. Test limits for subjects were a Tre of 39°C (102°F) or a sustained heart rate of 180 bpm. Subjects also terminated voluntarily or were withdrawn by test observers. Dependent variables were total time walked (ET), δTre and Esw (evaporative water loss). Differences between uniforms were significant for ET and Esw (32°C environments only), and for δTre in all environments. In the 18°C (65°F) environment, in both garments, all subjects completed 100 min of walking. In all significant cases, subjects demonstrated less physiological strain during exercise while wearing the LWG garment relative to the BDO.

Author Information

Santee, WR
U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA
Cadarette, BS
U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA
Schamber, DW
U.S. Army Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center, Natick, MA
Gonzalez, RR
U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA
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Developed by Committee: F23
Pages: 507–514
DOI: 10.1520/STP19183S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5194-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1430-2