It’s October already and time for my fourth quarterly column for 2010. It has been a relatively subdued year for protective clothing activities particularly for the professional AIHA and ASTM F23 committees. The AIHA PC&E committee announced that the 3rd Edition of the CPC textbook on protective clothing was expected to be published the fourth quarter this year and that the industrial hygiene White Book would be published early next year. This book has an updated chapter on protective clothing authored by Zack Mansdorf and myself. The committee also reported that it was planning a round table on “Emerging Issues in Protective Clothing” for the AIHce conference next year in Portland, OR May 14 – 19th. Meanwhile, ASTM Committee F23 on protective clothing, specifically subcommittee F-23.30 on Chemicals, was working on trying to identify a supplier for the 16 mil Neoprene reference standard for the F-739 permeation test method to be used for round robin testing. Supplies of this material are limited and need to be stored by somebody to process when someone requests samples to test their permeation test system. For now all requests for samples need to be processed through the chairman of ASTM sub-committee F23.30. This coming year in 2011, the committee will meet in Baltimore, MD February 1-3rd at the Baltimore Marriott Water front to discuss possible other standard reference materials and ways to supply samples to potential users. I plan to attend this meeting and express my concerns about providing samples to users of the ASTM F-739 permeation test method.

In other developments, I was pleased to see a paper published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 7, pages 417- 428, 2010 on the “Permeation of Gasoline, Diesel , Bio-ethanol and Bio-diesel Fuels Through Six Glove Materials.” The study was done by two graduate students from the University Of Michigan Department of Health Sciences using the F-739 permeation test cells from Pesce Lab Sales and the ASTM-739 test method. The results showed that Viton gloves provided excellent protection, while Nitrile Solvex gloves gave good protection. So if you are a service station attendant pumping gas all day, wearing either of these gloves should protect you from dermal exposure to these fuels.

Also, I would like to report that Pesce Lab Sales has gotten some inquiries about washing and cleaning the permeation test cells, so I thought I would share my experience and techniques for cleaning the cells. Basically, rinsing the test cells with acetone to remove any organic chemicals, followed by washing in standard laboratory Micro soap and then rinsing with distilled water works very well. For more difficult, viscous chemicals Chromerge (glass cleaning solution) works well followed by washing in Micro soap and then rinsing in distilled water. Be careful though when using this solution to protect your eyes and skin. Some times just letting the cells soak in soap overnight, then rinsing and drying the next day is good however, if you are analyzing for compounds in the ppb range it may take longer time to decontaminate them. Well, that’s about it for now, but do not forget to give a call if you need help with your permeation test systems, cells or methods. Finally, both rich and I would like to wish you all a happy holiday season and a healthy prosperous new year in 2011.

Norm Henry