4 months ago

Follow up on protection against fentanyl and carfentanil.

I want to show you two example garments that I would recommend for a potential response. Both of these garments will soon be certified to NFPA 1999 which is one of the standards that the IAB recommended in their guidance.

Today I want to follow up on our topic from last month which was protection against Fentanyl and Carfentanil, the Opioid compounds. If you look at the history of partical protection, in the late 80’s and early 90’s we were protecting people against Asbestos. Asbestos was not considered a skin hazard, but was considered a respiratory hazard. However, workers wanted to prevent contact with the skin so that when they went home to their families, they didn’t redistribute the Asbestos particles among them. The problem with Asbestos is if you get it in your lungs, you may not know for years that you have a problem.

A more recent event for the US goes back to the early 2000’s when we had several Anthrax scares. Anthrax can be considered a skin hazard but is primarily a respiratory hazard. Anthrax works a little differently than Asbestos. You may not know it immediately but you will know within a few days or weeks that you have a problem. The mortality from Anthrax can go as high as 50% or greater.

The most recent topic is being around powder Opioid compounds. Last month I talked about the guidance that had been published by the Interagency Board and the different levels of protection that could be used for response to those compounds. I had a couple of people follow up to the video blog that said “you never actually recommended a product for us to use.” I have to ask the user this one question. “Do you feel it is ok to have the powder on your skin?” And that drives two totally different recommendations. In this situation the use of a system or ensemble approach to protection can be more important than ever before. I want to show you two example garments that I would recommend for potential response. Both of these garments will soon be certified to NFPA 1999 which is one of the standards that the IAB recommended in their guidance.

The first garment is a coverall design and does not have attached gloves. It relies on an interface between the elastic in the hood and the respirator face piece or mask if that is being used. If you do not want particles on the skin I cannot recommend this garment to you. The reason is that I don’t know how well you will interface the sleeve to a glove or the hood to the respirator face piece. If you think about it, when you put this garment on and you do any kind of motions or movements, you are creating positive and negative pressure areas in that garment and if you are in a powdered environment, you can literally suck the particles inside the suit with you. That requires us to go to a higher level of protection for an ensemble approach.

I have another garment design here which is a rear entry coverall. The unique thing about it is that it has the attached sealed gloves and an attached face seal interface that seals against the respirator face piece. It also has the double storm flaps to cover the zipper. This is like an ensemble with a better seal throughout the garment than you would with a standard coverall design.

Both of these garments are for low to moderate potential exposures to the compounds. You can get these designs in our Provent and Zytron fabrics. Many people have told me with numerous examples, that they are responding to these incidents in Level B encapsulated garments or even higher, Level A.

Kappler is working today to complete the certification for the NFPA 1999 Standard for both of these product designs. I hope to update you on the status of these projects in the next couple of months.