Chemical-Biological Protective Clothing – Effects of Design and Initial State on Physiological Strain


  1. McLellan, T.M.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
New biological and chemical protective uniforms lower heat strain and increase tolerance time (TT) when worn in the highest protective dress state (DShigh). However, these garments also are intended to replace the battle dress uniform (BDU) and to be worn when the threat is low (DSlow). The purposes of this study were to examine whether heat strain during DSlow impacted TT after the transition to DShigh and to determine whether vents in the arms and legs of the uniform reduced heat strain during DSlow and increased TT. Eight males (31 ± 11 y, 80 ± 16 kg) performed 4 trials at 35ºC, 50% humidity with 1 m/s wind walking at 4.5 km/h for 90 min in DSlow and up to a further 90 min in DShigh. Trial A subjects wore BDU in DSlow with an overgarment during DShigh. Trial B was a 1-piece uniform in DSlow and DShigh whereas trials C and D involved wearing a 2-piece uniform. During D vents along the arm and upper and lower leg were opened in DSlow but closed during DShigh. Also worn were a fragmentation and tactical assault vest and a helmet. Heart rates were reduced during DSlow for A and D (114 ± 13) versus B and C (122 ± 18). Rectal temperature (Tre) increased the least in DSlow for A (0.86 ± 0.23ºC) versus the other trials and was significantly lower for D (1.02 ± 0.25ºC) versus C (1.11 ± 0.27ºC). Tre increased rapidly during DShigh for A, which also had the shortest TT (40 ± 9 min). The increased thermal strain during DSlow for B offset its theoretical advantage in DShigh

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uncompensable heat stress, physiological strain, wind, evaporative heat loss
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-SL-2007-080 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 May 2008
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, vol 79, no 5, 2008, p 500-508
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