The benefit of PFAS in Personal Protective Equipment
Scientific innovation drives and advances the capabilities of technical textiles to improve and protect lives. Through material stewardship, people and the environment remain central to advancements in new innovative technology. When Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE)-based technical fabrics are manufactured into durable PPE this enables longer product use, which in turn lowers the environmental footprint.
Additionally, when constructed with other components, such as textiles and flame-resistant technologies, the resulting ePTFE-based fabrics provide advanced thermal and mechanical properties needed to protect against the hazards for the electric arc flashes. The benefits of arc-rated protective ePTFE-based fabrics made using fluoropolymers and other fluoromaterials are multiple. They safeguard the health and wellbeing of the wearer by providing waterproof, windproof, and breathable benefits and in addition highly functioning, protective characteristics. For instance, against electric arc flash but also against incidental flash fire, heat and flame, penetration of liquid chemicals and splashes of hot liquids.
In the event of an incidental arc flash exposure, textiles and flame-resistant technologies will stop the flame propagation by forming a carbonaceous char with the textile, which reduces the transfer of heat to the wearers skin. The ePTFE component enables robust physical integrity even after long use, laundering or exposure to the hazards of the electric arc and allow the production of thinner and lighter protective fabrics, compared to traditional flame-retardant fabrics. This means they are comfortable and lightweight to wear. In addition, they support arc rated product technology which protects the end user with the top arc rating of PPE Category 3 (Regulation (EU) 2016/425, annex I).