Study Seeks to Ensure Effectiveness of Firefighter Turnout Gear 
A proposed NIOSH research project would attempt to link the performance of firefighter turnout gear to its conditions of use. The study is intended to inform consensus standards for turnout gear to ensure that it remains protective throughout its lifecycle. Turnout gear is a type of personal protective equipment that shields firefighters from carcinogens, flames, heat, and chemical and biological agents. Recent data indicate that turnout gear begins to lose effectiveness after as little as two years of wear, according to a notice in the
Federal Register
.  The proposed study would obtain turnout gear from three representative fire departments, determine the gear’s conditions of use, and subject the gear to established performance requirements. The goal of the study would be to determine whether a relationship exists between the gear’s use and its ability to protect the user. Information about the proposed study is available from the
Federal Register