Heat Stress while Wearing Long Pants or Shorts under Firefighting Protective Clothing

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Authors
  1. McLellan, T.M.
  2. Selkirk, G.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Abstract
It was the purpose of this study to examine whether replacing pants (P) with shorts (S) would reduce the heat stress of wearing firefighting protective clothing during exercise in a warm environment. Twenty-four Toronto Firefighters were allocated to one of four groups that performed heavy (H, 4.8, 5% grade), moderate (M, 4.5, 2.5% grade), light (L, 4.5) or very light (VL, 2.5) exercise while wearing their full protective ensemble and self-contained breathing apparatus. Subjects performed a familiarization trial followed by two experimental trials at 35ºC and 50% relative humidity wearing either P or S under their bunker pants. Replacing P with S had no impact on the rectal temperature (Tre) or heart rate response during heavy or moderate exercise where exposure times were less than 1 hour (40.8 ± 5.8 and 53.5 ± 9.2 min for H and M, respectively while wearing P, and 43.5 ± 5.3 and 54.2 ± 8.4 min, respectively while wearing S). In contrast, as exposure times were extended during lighter exercise Tre was reduced by as much as 0.4ºC after 80 min of exercise while wearing S. Exposure times were significantly increased from 65.8 ± 9.6 and 83.5 ± 11.6 min during L and VL, respectively while wearing P to 73.3 ± 8.4 and 97.0 ± 12.5 min, respectively while wearing S. It was concluded that replacing P with S under the firefighting protective clothing reduced the heat stress associated with wearing the protective ensemble and extended exposure times approximately 10-15% during

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Keywords
Rectal temperature;Pants;Shorts;Metabolic rate;Uncompensable heat stress;Exercise tolerance;Firefighting protective clothing
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-SL-2003-002 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Aug 2003
Number of Pages
16
Reprinted from
Ergonomics, vol 47, no 1, 2004, p 75-90
DSTKIM No
CA025705
CANDIS No
523408
Format(s):
Electronic Document(PDF)

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