Carlton, N. P., Ormond, R. B., Joines, J. A., Morton-Aslanis, J., & Barker, R. L. (2020), In Performance of Protective Clothing and Equipment: Innovative Solutions to Evolving Challenges (pp. 18–30). https://doi.org/10.1520/stp162420190090
Smith, M. M. C., Carlton, N. P., & Ormond, R. B. (2020), In Performance of Protective Clothing and Equipment: Innovative Solutions to Evolving Challenges (pp. 114–130). https://doi.org/10.1520/stp162420190091
National Institute of Standards & Technology(1/01/22 - 12/31/23)
Assessing Percutaneous Absorption of PFAS Compounds from Firefighter Protective Clothing
Sponsor: National Institute of Standards & Technology
Start Date: 1/01/22
End Date: 12/31/23
The per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) family of chemicals has been used extensively across many commercial products for decades, but their persistent and toxic nature has resulted in them being linked to multiple adverse health effects in recent years. Firefighters can have increased exposure to these compounds by burning treated materials, working with aqueous film-forming foams, and through contact with their protective clothing, which are often treated with the chemicals to impart repellency. This project seeks to determine the extent to which a selection of PFAS chemicals can transfer from protective clothing and absorb into the skin to improve the health and safety of firefighters.
Development of Protocol for Residual Antiviral Activity on Textile Substrates
Sponsor: Goldshield Technologies
Start Date: 1/11/21
End Date: 8/21/21
The survival rate of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 on environmental surfaces varies from minutes up to three days. Studies highlight the role of such surfaces in the chain of transmission of the viral pathogens, and consequently in epidemics and pandemics. There is little evidence about the influence of soft surfaces, textiles, in cross-contamination. Based on literature, it appears that viable human coronavirus, specifically SARS-CoV-2, may persist on textiles for up to two days in some circumstances. Most studies so far have focused on hard surfaces but, considering the complexity of textile materials due to their type and varied ways of construction, those findings cannot necessarily be applied to soft materials. In their current form, these textiles can host and spread bioaerosols, allergens, bacteria, and viruses, and can promote cross contamination. In addition, the reusable textile-based personal protective equipment (PPE) and patient care textiles found in healthcare are never characterized nor modeled to quantify their contribution to the development and spread of pathogens. The rise of SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses has created a demand for anti-viral technologies that can mitigate the risk by simply creating an antimicrobial/antiviral bio-barrier on textiles to prevent microbes and viruses from attaching to them. This initial pilot study will focus on the persistence of viral contamination on a subset of textile surfaces. More specifically, we will first focus on general textiles such as linen sheeting materials that are commonly used in healthcare settings. Additional materials, such as those used in masks and other PPE will be included in follow-on studies. The objective of this pilot study is to develop a proof-of-concept protocol aimed at evaluating the persistence of viral contamination on textile surfaces.
Current CBRN gloves are bulky. This effort will produce a protective, durable, and conformal glove that can be integrated into novel CBRN protective ensembles while allowing higher tactility and touch-screen capabilities. Phase 2 and 3 will include testing, design and prototyping.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention(3/15/21 - 9/14/22)
Development and Application of an Animatronic Head Form Test Method for Evaluating the Functionality of Low Cost Source-Capture Cloth Face Coverings
Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Start Date: 3/15/21
End Date: 9/14/22
This project will develop an advanced animatronic head form test method for measuring the filtration efficiency and breathing resistance of low cost cloth face coverings (CFCs) in realistic simulations of dynamic human wear. The project will use data provided by this unique test platform to produce a metric that combines CFC filtration and breathability performance to provide manufacturers and users with an easy to understand quantitative rating of CFC functionality. The value of this new test method will be demonstrated by assessing the effects of design and facial wearing configuration on particle capture efficiency and breathability. We will test a wide range of low cost CFCs representing different materials and design options (ranging from the â€œdo-it-yourselfâ€ or DIY and industrial manufacturer versions), including the features outlined in the AATCC Guidance Monograph for General Purpose Textile Face Coverings1. We will employ the method to characterize the effects of CFCs on the propagation of aerosolized particles produced in breathing, talking, coughing and conduct human subject fit tests to validate instrument predictions of filtration efficiency and breathing resistance.
Insecticide Analysis Research Proposal for Elevate Textiles/ITG Burlington
Sponsor: Elevate Textiles, Inc.
Start Date: 6/29/20
End Date: 12/31/21
Elevate Textiles/ITG Burlington has developed a finish for the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) to provide protection from biting insects. To evaluate the efficacy of this finish, they have first identified the need to provide validated analytical methods and testing for the extraction and analysis of the active ingredients. This analysis would then be used on freshly finished fabric to determine percent add-on of the ingredients as well as on fabric following laundering cycles to evaluate the durability to wash. The fabrics are treated with a combination of insect repellent (Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus) and insecticide (Permethrin) chemistries. For this research project, the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (TPACC) at NC State University will develop and validate the extraction and analysis methods required to analyze the chosen insecticides/repellents simultaneously. Following method validation, materials from plant trials will be evaluated before and after laundering.
US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)(10/01/20 - 8/30/22)
Mitigating Exposure to Hazardous and Toxic Particulates and Vapors: Evaluating and Improving PPE and Skin Contamination on WUI/Wildland Fires
Sponsor: US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)
Start Date: 10/01/20
End Date: 8/30/22
Firefighting continues to be among the most hazardous yet least studied professions in terms of occupational exposures and risk â€“ even less is known about wildland firefighters. This project will assess current PPE usage and pathways of occupational exposures and use this information to create mitigation and risk reducing protocols and decontamination procedures with the aim of ameliorating occupational exposures in wildland firefighters. Long term, the protocols and procedures developed through this program assessment will contribute to reducing the cancer burden in the firefighter population . The goals are to: 1) provide an improved understanding and assessment of wildland/WUI PPE for hazardous particulate and vapor protection, 2) develop mitigation measures and decontamination protocols to reduce exposure, and 3) provide long-term training programs to facilitate dissemination and encourage adoption by fire departments throughout the U.S. We will deliver a program that provides meaningful improvements in the health and safety of our firefighters and improving preparedness and community resilience.
US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)(1/01/21 - 9/28/23)
Effectiveness of Primary Exposure Mitigation Strategies for Fire Investigators
Sponsor: US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)
Start Date: 1/01/21
End Date: 9/28/23
Purpose & Aims: Our aim is to improve the health and safety of fire investigators by determining the effectiveness of PPE and post-fire skin-cleansing wipes for mitigating exposures to toxic fireground contaminants while conducting investigations.
Develop and Document Methods for Effective Cleaning of Military Firefightersâ€™ Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Mitigate Exposure to Carcinogens and Other Hazardous Materials
Sponsor: US Army
Start Date: 4/20/20
End Date: 10/19/20
Our scope of work will be to conduct initial evaluation of the cleaning and decontamination performance of TDA's experimental formulation. TPACC will use our swatch contamination, decontamination and/or wash procedures followed by extraction/analysis using our advanced analytical procedures.
US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)(9/18/19 - 3/17/22)
Assessment, Improvement, and Application of Multi-Hazard System-Level Performance Evaluations of First Responder Ensembles
Sponsor: US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)
Start Date: 9/18/19
End Date: 3/17/22
Purpose & Aims: Critically review and assess NFPA standards and improve system-level testing methods by investigating application and relevance to fire service and responder communities. Current material-level tests outlined in NFPA standards are useful for characterizing fabrics used in protective garments; they do not capture the full system-level performance for user wear during various tasks. Full examination and range of system-level evaluations will be conducted and aid in developing an updated testing platform which firefighters can use to assess their own ensemble and support development of a new NFPA standard. Relevance: Full system-level tests in NFPA standards are impactful in assessing protective clothing as worn by the responder; however, some of these methods lack comprehensive evaluation for its application in integration and interoperability. This research will provide the basis and support for a new NFPA standard for system-level evaluations of the responder in addition to providing the responder community with testing protocols that can be conducted at their respective station for assessment. Methods: Material and system level methods will be implemented to research, examine, and assess current test methods utilized in NFPA standards. NCSUâ€™s capabilities with manikin systems, in-depth knowledge of users and standards, and expertise in human wear testing will provide unprecedented evaluations specific to protective systems worn against a multitude of encountered hazards. Anticipated Outcomes: This research will contribute to improve firefighter protection and promote education through the creation and design of test methods implemented in a new NFPA standard focused on integration and interoperability of protective ensembles.
Development of Protective Ensemble(s) for DSM Dyneema Technicians
Sponsor: DSM Dyneema
Start Date: 9/03/18
End Date: 6/30/20
To aid DSM Dyneema in better protecting their technicians, the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (TPACC) at NC State University will conduct a focused research effort to address the incompatibility of the ensemble elements and inadequate balance of protection and comfort. The initial research project will consist of three phases: 1) Literature review and assessment of hazards for respiratory and dermal exposure to production solvent as well as thermal exposure hazards, 2) Survey of PPE market for existing protective ensembles or elements that meet the needs of the technicians, 3) Preparation and delivery of final report. The proposed duration of the research will be four (4) months. Anticipated period of performance is September 2018 â€“ December 2018, pending official start date.