B.S. Polymer and Color Chemistry, ACS Certified North Carolina State University 2007
Ph.D. Fiber and Polymer Science North Carolina State University 2012
Area(s) of Expertise
Dyeing and Finishing
Testing and Materials Evaluation
- Effects of firefighting hood design, laundering and doffing on smoke protection, heat stress, and wearability , Ergonomics (2021)
- Assessing the Durability of Firefighter Protective Hoods Following Exposure to Ultraviolet Light , Performance of Protective Clothing and Equipment: Innovative Solutions to Evolving Challenges (2020)
- Development of a Headspace Sampling-Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Method for the Analysis of Fireground Contaminants on Firefighter Turnout Materials , ACS CHEMICAL HEALTH & SAFETY (2020)
- Development of a Standard Testing Procedure for Evaluating Firefighter Protective Hoods on PyroHead Fire Test System , Performance of Protective Clothing and Equipment: Innovative Solutions to Evolving Challenges (2020)
- Evaluating the Material-Level Performance of Particulate-Blocking Firefighter Hoods , Performance of Protective Clothing and Equipment: Innovative Solutions to Evolving Challenges (2020)
- Headspace sampling-gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer as a screening method to thermally extract fireground contaminants from retired firefighting turnout jackets , FIRE AND MATERIALS (2020)
- Performance Evaluation of Newly Developed Smoke and Particulate Resistant Structural Turnout Ensemble , HOMELAND SECURITY AND PUBLIC SAFETY: RESEARCH, APPLICATIONS, AND STANDARDS (2019)
- Analytical quantification of key odor compounds found in footwear , AATCC 2017 - 2017 AATCC International Conference Proceedings (2017)
- Outward Leakage smoke simulation for evaluating susceptibility of firefighter turnout ensembles and materials to particulate infiltration , AATCC 2017 - 2017 AATCC International Conference Proceedings (2017)
- Considerations for applying man-in-simulant test methodologies for the evaluation of fully encapsulating chemical protective ensembles , ASTM Special Technical Publication (2016)
Purpose & Aims: Our aim is to improve the health and safety of firefighters by developing a strategy for incorporation of appropriate contamination resistance measures in NPFA 1971 and 1851 without compromising the protection that firefighters need against fireground and environmental hazards. We will accomplish this by reviewing NFPA requirements regarding contamination resistance, assessing the impacts of contamination resistance on ensemble performance, and determining the impact of ageing on contamination resistance, performance, and exposure. Relevance: This work will fill a significant knowledge gap associated with contamination resistance measures, such as fluorinated and non-fluorinated repellent finishes, and their impacts on liquid, particulate, and chemical contamination, cleaning efficacy, and management of thermal energy in both a new and aged state. Methods: Turnout composites with varying constructions and repellency treatments will be subjected to ageing through UV and laundering. Both new and aged composites will be realistically contaminated with smoke and chemicals in the Fireground Exposure Simulator. To determine performance trade-offs, clean and contaminated composites will be evaluated for ability to resist chemical and particulate contamination, cleaning efficacy, thermal protection from convective and radiant heat, and impact of radiant load on total heat loss. Anticipated Outcomes: This research will provide an independent and thorough evaluation of the impacts that contamination resistance measures have on the turnout performance and firefighter exposures to contaminants. The research findings will inform the NFPA 1971 and 1851 standards during their revision processes, and it will allow firefighters to conduct their own assessments of risk associated with potential trade-offs.
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.
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.
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 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œdo-it-yourselfÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â 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.
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.
Firefighting continues to be among the most hazardous yet least studied professions in terms of occupational exposures and risk ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 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.
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. NCSUÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢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.
Purpose & Aims: This research will develop deep-cleaning methods to remove residual smoke & vapor carcinogens present in turnout material components after conventional washing. Relevance: Current NFPA 1851 advanced washing procedures remove 40% or less of potentially carcinogenic contaminants found in turnout gear after firefighting smoke exposure. After wash contaminants can migrate from turnout suits & transfer to skin; semi-volatile compounds can off-gas, exposing firefighters to low-level sustained doses of toxic vapors. Better cleaning methods, to extract residual smoke & fire ground contaminants, at reasonable cost & with less damage to gear, will reduce firefighter cancer risks. Methods: 1) Determine the level of accumulated carcinogens in retired smoke-exposed turnout gear; assess potential transfer of carcinogens via skin contact & potential for off gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 2) Contaminate representative combinations of new turnout outer shell, moisture barrier and thermal liner materials with controlled doses of target chemicals; clean with CO2 & enhanced conventional processes; analyze for residual contaminants. 3) Use deep-clean wash procedures to launder new structural uniforms, gloves & hoods contaminated with known carcinogenic compound levels; following up to 10 cleaning cycles compare carcinogen content levels found in gear laundered using current NFPA 1851 cleaning procedures for cleaning effectiveness, cost, & turnout durability. Anticipated Outcomes: Provide fire service community with new hazard assessments for residual contaminants in smoke-exposed legacy gear; identify next-generation cleaning procedures to remove more contaminants from turnout suits; recommend procedures to relevant NFPA technical committees, fire departments, laundries, and Independent Service Providers (ISPs).
As part of the Tactical Advanced Threat Protective Ensemble (TATPE) and the All-Purpose Personal Protective Equipment (AP-PPE) modernization, a train for Man-In-Simulant-Testing (MIST) was identified as needed. The primary objective being to test new ensembles in the presence of potential threats during use. This testing can be performed in collaboration with North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the Wilson College of TextilesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ Textile Protection and Comfort Center (TPCC).
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.
- Research: Dyeing and Finishing
- Research: Performance Textiles
- Academics: Polymer and Color Chemistry
- Research: Protective Textiles
- Research: Testing and Materials Evaluation
- Research: Textile Chemistry
- Research: Textile Comfort
- Academics: Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science
- Centers and Institutes: Textile Protection and Comfort Center