It’s April and spring has arrived in all its color and warm weather. This means putting away heavy winter clothes and wearing light bright colored ones. Did you know that clothing is worn for three reasons? One is obviously for protection, two for communication and three for decoration. Clothing worn for protection is used to prevent exposure to physical, chemical and biological hazards. Clothing is also worn to communicate what type of job you do, sport you play or what organization you belong to. Bright colors for example indicate warnings or enhance awareness and visibility. Lastly clothing is worn for decoration as a wedding dress or a fancy tie for a special occasion. Clothing is one of man’s basic needs, yet we sometimes forget the reasons we wear it and how important it is in accomplishing the many things we do.

Speaking about doing things, how about the new web page design illustrating the permeation process and web links to protective clothing information resources. It is really nice to log on to one site and have the capability to link to other sites for quick access and new information on publications and performance test methods. It was nice to see a reference to the ASTM permeation cell in a paper published in the February issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene by Keh-Ping Choa from China, entitled “Modeling Organic Solvent Permeation Through Protective Gloves.” Pesce’s ASTM permeation test cell is now recognized internationally after over 20 years since it first was adopted in ASTM’s F739 Permeation Test Method in 1983. In addition, instructions for assembling the 1 and 2 inch ASTM Permeation Test Cells are also available on line.

So what is going on in the world of permeation testing the next few months? First there is the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition in Atlanta, GA , May 8 th – May 12 th. At the conference papers are presented on the latest research on protective clothing materials and equipment as well as performance test methods. One of the latest concerns in the industrial hygiene community is Nanotechnology. Nanotech particles are 1/1000 the thickness of human hair (< 100 nm) and pose measurement, exposure and toxicity concerns. Protective clothing has yet to be evaluated for penetration resistance to these particles. The next scheduled meeting of ASTM Committee F23 on Protective Clothing is June 15 –17 th in Kansas City, MO. At this meeting the new radiological protective clothing subcommittee will have a presentation on potential standards and specifications for radiological protective clothing materials. Other subcommittees will continue to work on standards, guidelines and practices for protective clothing used for physical, biological and chemical resistance as well as human factor concerns. Finally, I want to remind those of you who want to do permeation testing and want a sample of the standard 16 mil neoprene reference material that may soon be available to purchase through Pesce Lab Sales.