For decades, researchers at Illinois and at the laboratory and Skidmore have been looking at the PPE that firefighters are wearing, and trying to figure out the physical stress it places on firefighters, we know that PPE is absolutely essential to protect the firefighter. But it also imposes physical strain, it increases the work they must do the encapsulation increases thermal strain, and this adds to the cardiovascular work of firefighting. In this study, which is a continuation of the cardiovascular and chemical exposure studies, we're actually looking at how the PPE is protecting against smoke and chemical exposures. We now know that some of the smoke, gases, soot and pH is that they carry are getting through the gear. And there are places that the PPE is most vulnerable around the neck around the interfaces, the gloves and the boots. So in this study, we're actually using mannequins, exposing them to standardized smoke conditions in the prop that we built specifically for this, and we're seeing how that material is passing through the entire PPE ensemble.
Next, you want to swap gloves, so that they're not collecting anymore.
I'm Richard Kessler, research scientist here at the Illinois Fire Service Institute. We're here for part two of our PPE study funded by the Department of Homeland Security partnering with Skidmore College NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and ul fsri. In the second phase of the study, we're looking at four different types of gear. The first condition is your standard here. The second builds on that by putting increased protection at the interfaces cuffs on the wrists cuffs on the ankles as well as a cuff around the waist. The third condition is integrating the hood into the coat. And then the fourth condition, we create a jumpsuit that has no interfaces between the pants in the coat, and then the hood is attached to the liner. This study aims to look at the particulate and gas exposure. Here we're looking at what gets under the gear and what gets under the base layer that our mannequins are wearing. Overall, we hope that this project will help us improve our PPE and reduce exposure to firefighters on the fire ground.
My name is Kenny fence. I'm a research industrial hygenist at NIOSH. And then NIOSH where our role in this project is to really provide the expertise to look at the chemical exposures to test the effectiveness of the turnout gear. We're doing a variety of measurements starting outside of the turnout gear in the environment, we're doing air sampling. And then we've got various samplers that we're using
on the turnout gear and then kind of between the the turnout gear and the bass player, and then also under the base layer. So in my base layer, I mean like station clothing that firefighters would wear after the fires are have been suppressed. And we take the mannequins out. We're actually collecting all those the base layers, the base clothing, and then we're cutting out samples from that, that actually tells us what's depositing on to that underclothing that firefighters were Hey, it's Joe Whaley with UL fsri. And we partnered with Ty FSI to build a data system that helps measure the thermal environment within the compartments. We've also set up video cameras so we can visually track the smoke layer as it banks down and relate that back to the data that we've been collecting.
My name is Gavin horn. I'm a research engineer at UL firefighter safety research institute and a senior research scientist with the Illinois Fire Service Institute. So ul fsri, is here to really focus on temperature measurements. This is a study that combines the engineering expertise that ul fsri has brought to firefighter research for nearly a decade. With some of the human health concerns that the fire service has. We want to address some of the leading causes of fatalities in the fire service, specifically, chemical exposures that might increase the risk for occupational cancers are interested in heat stress and the generation of different stresses on the body that could increase our risk for cardiovascular events. So the uwell measurements are critical to understanding what is in the environment. What is the fire producing, and how can we trace this back to the previous studies that we've conducted as a team? You will I FSI and NIOSH have studied the fire ground. We've studied the training ground and now we're studying specific components of the personal protective equipment obviously
We understand the importance of PPE and providing protection for the firefighter. And in fact, increasingly, we're asking the PPE to provide protection against chemical exposures. But we're just starting to understand that from a scientific standpoint, and in fact, this research is part of advancing our understanding. And with our work with the manufacturing partners, we will seek to address those vulnerabilities so that in the future, our PPE will provide the protection it has against the thermal injuries, abrasions, etc, but also do a better job in providing protection against the chemical exposures that we know firefighters are facing, and increasingly facing in the modern fire environment. This AFGE funded project is an excellent example of the fire service working together with researchers and manufacturers to solve the problems of the fire service. What does the fire service need in order to perform their job more safely and effectively.