The purpose of chemical coveralls is to shield individuals from the physical, chemical, and biological hazards they may encounter during work. Some chemicals offer no warnings and can pose invisible hazards. OSHA created a Chemical Protective Clothing manual on helping to determine four levels of chemical risk workers might be subject to.
Level A - chemical coveralls provide the greatest level of skin protection available. This type of coverall must be vapor-tight, gas-tight and splash resistant. Worn only when there is a potential threat to life and health. A Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) is required at this level.
Level B/C - chemical coveralls will protect from chemical splash, but not exposure from vapors or gases. The coveralls may or may not be completely encapsulated, since a lower level of skin protection is required. Some chemicals may be known. A SCBA is is also required at this level.
Level D - chemical coveralls offer the lowest level of protection and are worn when no potential chemical hazard exists. These are normal work uniforms, offering minimal protection to minuscule expose and can be disposable.
Choosing the right material and style for your chemical coveralls is also important to your safety. When deciding which material, consider the following qualities; breakthrough time, permeation rate and suit design.
Breakthrough Time - The time it takes a chemical to pass through coveralls once exposed to.
Permeation Rate - The speed at which a chemical passes through coveralls once breakthrough has occurred.
Suit Design - Refers to how the suit is stitched together. Coverall material can be joined together by a stitch or weld. Stitches can create pin holes that could allow chemical to penetrate. Welded seams involve welding tape over the stitched seam and offers a greater level of protection.
Chemical Coveralls are good for anyone working in applications such as dry chemical handling, food processing, construction, fiberglass production, painting, environmental cleanup, abrasive blasting, petroleum refining, pulp and paper mills, chemical warfare, chemical cleanup, biological spills and many more.