First responders and emergency services end-users rely on the chemical protection standards developed by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) to help define the appropriate personal protective equipment for hazmat incidents. These standards have globally become the benchmarks for equipment design and performance needs. When you don a NFPA certified product, it assures you that it is thoroughly tested to meet specific emergency requirements. There are three primary standards for chemical-biological protection that tests the entire ensembles to include the suit or garment, visor, gloves and foot wear. The ONESUIT products are certified to either of these standards described below.
NFPA 1991: Standard on Vapor-Protective Ensembles for Hazardous Materials Emergencies
This standard is meant for ensembles providing vapor tight protection intended to offer the highest level of chemical protection. The ensembles are fully encapsulated suits, consistent with EPA level A where SCBA is inside the suit. The suit is pressure tested to ensure vapor tight integrity. Materials and seams resist permeation of a broad range of gaseous and liquid chemicals including TICs, CWAs at 100% concentration. In addition, ensembles also offer flame resistance. Optional criteria define additional protection against chemical flash fire for escape purposes and / or an ability to withstand contact with liquefied gases. The state of the art includes, single skin flexible materials with single component gloves providing excellent dexterity and comfort.
NFPA 1992: Standard on Liquid Splash-Protective Ensembles and Clothing for Hazardous Materials Emergencies
This standard is meant for ensembles providing liquid splash protection, but not intended for vapor or gas protection. The ensembles are consistent with EPA level B. Materials and seams resist liquid penetration only. The state of the art includes, non-encapsulating ensembles with excellent respirator interfaces, single skin flexible materials with single component gloves providing extremely high dexterity and comfort.
NFPA 1994: Standard on Protective Ensembles for First Responders to CBRN Terrorism Incidents
This standard defines ensembles that protect specifically against CWs, TICs, biological agents and particulates. The standard is further broken into three classes, Class 2 through 4 with reduced protection levels for varying hazard levels. Class 1 ensembles are covered under NFPA 1991. The Class 2 which provides the highest protection under NFPA 1994 have ensembles that are either encapsulated or non-encapsulated. Materials and seams resist permeation by specified CWAs and TICs and prevent penetrations of bloodborne pathogens. The state of the art includes, single skin flexible materials with single component gloves providing high dexterity and comfort.
In addition to the NFPA standards, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) provides the European Standards (EN) for technical specifications of chemical protective clothing. The EN943-1/2 provides the highest level of EN protection. However the NFPA 1991 standards offer a well-rounded assessment of the ensemble with tougher requirements as shown in the table below.
(10 times EN)
# of Chemicals Tested
(L= liq., G=gas; CWA= warfare agent)
(21 L+ 6 G+ 2 CWA)
|15 (12 L + 3 G)|
|Minimum Breakthrough time (min.)||60||30|
|Preconditioning before chemical testing||Damaging abrasionand flex||-|
|StipulatedTest Duration (min.)||180||-|
|Test Temperature (°C)||27||20 / 23|
|Flame and Flash Fire||Flame Test||Very aggressive(3+12 sec. vertical flame)||Minimal (moving flame)|
|Glove Physical Strength||Cut and Puncture||High||Very low|