Hazardous chemicals are used in many industries, from agriculture to manufacturing to pharmaceuticals. Whether solid, liquid or gas, they pose some of the most serious health hazards facing workers today. The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), a ANSI member and accredited standards developer, recently released an American National Standard (ANS) that addresses protective apparel for workers who come into contact with these chemicals.

ANSI/ISEA 103-2010, Classification and Performance Requirements for Chemical Protective Clothing, establishes performance, labeling, and certification requirements for clothing designed to protect against hazardous chemicals. The standard establishes six categories of protective apparel, along with a guide to aid users in selecting the appropriate garment based on the specific hazards present in the working environment.

The standard also outlines performance test methods for material and whole garments in each category, guidelines for conducting hazard and risk assessments, and recommended performance levels. Items covered include encapsulating suits, splash suits, coveralls, jackets, pants, aprons, smocks, hoods, sleeves, and shoe and boot covers.