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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Smile Level A suit question

    My question deals with Level A suits and if there is a suggested shelf life.

    We have three different types of suits. We have Lifeguard, Trelchem, and Chemproof. A question came up about how long these suits can stay inservice. We do a visual inspection and Integrity testing once a year.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks for any help.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber CFD Hazards's Avatar
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    Default

    It would all depend on the MFG. they are probably all different. I believe there is a maximum amount of time that a suit can be in a hazardous atmosphere and you must keep track of the total number of hours that each suit has been exposed. You then have to subtract that from the total time that the suit can be used.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Default

    And also WHAT the suit was exposed to.T.C.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Level A suit question

    Hi,
    I believe the NFPA standard for Hazmat suits cites 5 years as the life for a re-usable NFPA-compliant suit. I've used the Trellchem HPS and VPS suits. Trellchem cites 7 years as the life for these suits, but I looked after suits that were 10 and 12 years old. The suits were sent in to Trellchem for factory re-certification, and were passed for further use. Our inspection program included inflation testing and inspection every six months, after every use, and any time a suit was shipped to us. The inspection program was the major reason Trellchem approved the suits beyond the 7-year lifespan.

    Suits have breakthrough times for different chemicals. The breakthrough time tells you how long it takes for a substance to permeate through and be detected inside the suit. A suit exposed must be allowed to sit in clean air to allow the permeation process to finish, but I haven't seen any hard numbers on how long. Our main threat was anhydrous ammonia, and we left our suits sit for 48 hours between decon and inflation testing. This was probably more than was needed, but why take chances?

    A suit will have a finite exposure limit to certain chemicals. Usually it's because the suit material is degraded by the chemical and this should be indicated in the manufacturer's documentation for breakthrough times. Aside from the documentation, pull a suit from service if you have ANY doubts. The whole suit or a material sample can be tested by the manufacturer if need be.

    I hope this helps. The manufacturers and their approved service centers should be able to help you with any questions.

    Bye,
    Richard L

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