are a piece of personal protective equipment that consists of an impermeable whole-body garment worn as protection against hazardous materials. Such suits are often combined with self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) to ensure a supply of breathable air. Suits are used by firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, researchers, personnel responding to toxic spills, specialists cleaning up contaminated facilities, and workers in toxic environments.
suit is believed to originate from the Manchurian plague epidemic of 1910–1911, wherein Wu Lien-teh’s promoted the use of various forms of personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of the pneumonic plague.
suits come in two variations: splash protection and gastight suits. The splash protection suits are designed to prevent the wearer from coming into contact with a liquid. These suits do not protect against gases or dust. Gastight suits additionally protect against gases and dust.
substances dangerous to animals, humans or the environment. These substances are categorized into four safety levels ranging from BSL-4, which is the most dangerous, to BSL-1, the least dangerous.
Each level of biosafety requires distinct procedures to contain biological or microbial agents. Four different CDC hazmat suit designs are used for these different biohazard environments. CDC hazmat suits help reduce exposure risk of lab researchers, technicians and field workers to potentially infectious substances.
The Center for Disease Control states that the main elements to determine the hazmat suit level required are:
The nature of the work conducted
Severity of disease
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