This is my second edition of Norm’s laboratory corner. As I reported before, it is the intention of this quarterly column to keep you updated on the latest developments in protective clothing testing and evaluation. As we wind down this past year and think ahead to 2003 the first thought that comes to my mind is what is going on in ASTM’s F23 Protective Clothing Committee on standards development. The committee is scheduled to meet in Albuquerque, NM during January Committee Week, Jan 15-16. On the agenda are nine committee ballot items that have been voted on for acceptance as F-23 standards or revisions to existing standards. All existing standards must be reviewed every three years based on the date when they were first approved.

Revisions, upgrades and additions to standards are continually being reviewed by committee members. F-23 currently has about 40 standards on test methods, specifications, guides and practices. The standards up for discussion at the Albuquerque meeting that have been voted on and either approved or rejected pertain to modifications to performance specifications in human factors, changes to the biological mechanical pressure test method and molten metal test method. For more information on F-23’s Protective Clothing standards you may check the ASTM website at

Some others news for 2003 is the planned publication of AIHA’s 2nd Edition of “Chemical Protective Clothing”. This book was first published in 1990 by the AIHA’s technical committee on protective equipment. It was used in numerous professional development courses (PDC’s) as a reference for protective clothing users and safety professionals. This new edition promises to be updated with the latest in protective clothing developments. Individual chapters of the text are now available from AIHA in paperback form, since not all the other chapters have been completely reviewed. A chapter on Chemical Protective Clothing, Test Methods and Standards written by Jeff Stull and me is now currently available. The full textbook is scheduled for publication in July 2003. Another good reference text that is scheduled for publication in January 2003 is the fourth edition of “Quick Selection Guide to Chemical Protective Clothing” written by Krister Forsberg and Zack Mansdorf. It will be available from Van Nostrand Reinhold Press. This text contains information on the chemical resistance of 16 representative protective barriers against 600 chemicals of interest. Previous editions were very popular for use in selecting the appropriate protective clothing after a completing a hazard PPE assessment.