Cardiorespiratory and Thermal Effects of Wearing Gas Protective Clothing

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1984;54(3):261-70. doi: 10.1007/BF00379055.

Abstract

Six healthy men aged 25 to 37 walked on a treadmill at work levels of 21 and 41% of their VO2max for 25 to 30 min wearing gas protective clothing (GPC) consisting of an impermeable suit with a self-contained breathing apparatus (total weight 25 kg) or shorts (control tests, CT) in a temperate environment (ta 24.3 degrees C +/- 1.0 degrees C, rh 30-50%). When the GPC was worn at 21 and 41% VO2max, the most prominent increases, compared with the CT, were noted in the heart rate (means +/- SE, 120 +/- 5 vs 76 +/- 3 beats min-1 and 171 +/- 5 vs 103 +/- 3 beats min-1), mean skin temperature (36.1 +/- 0.2 vs 31.3 degrees C +/- 0.1 degree C and 36.9 +/- 0.3 vs 30.9 degrees C +/- 0.4 degrees C) and sweat rate (473 +/- 51 vs 70 +/- 23 g m-2 h-1 and 766 +/- 81 vs 135 +/- 18 g m-2 h-1) indicating a high cardiovascular and thermoregulatory strain, which was not decreased by ventilating the suit with an air flow of 281 min-1 at 41% VO2max. The ventilation, oxygen consumption and production of carbon dioxide increased in relation to the extra weight of the GPC, partly dependent on the dynamic work level. It was concluded that the increase in the physiological load caused by the GPC was so high that the work-rest regimens, workers' level of physical fitness, cardiovascular health and heat tolerance should be considered whenever gas protective clothing is used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature*
  • Exercise Test
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Exertion
  • Protective Clothing* / standards
  • Respiration*
  • Respiratory Protective Devices