IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Evaluation of physiological response to the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE): application of new technologies to firefighters’ clothing


The materials used to make the individual protective clothing that must be worn during high-risk situations (involving heat, flames) prevent the adequate dissipation of body heat, in addition to having the disadvantage of being heavy and stiff. Clothing manufactured with these materials thus contributes to the thermal and physiological stress experienced by a diverse group of workers, in particular, firefighters, paramedics and metal workers. With respect to firefighters, physiological stress entails an increased risk of cardiovascular events.

In this study, two new technologies to reduce thermal stress will be assessed with firefighters, based on their physiological response. Heat absorption systems added to standard protective garments and new materials manufactured with them will be utilized. Depending on their effectiveness, the introduction of these new technologies to the market should provide workers with greater thermal comfort and reduce physiological stress. The same technologies could also be adapted for those working at aluminium plants, blast furnaces, foundries, in metal-processing, etc.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0099-8490
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2015
  • Denis Marchand (Université du Québec à Montréal )
  • Chantal Gauvin (IRSST)
  • Mylène Aubertin-Leheudre (Université du Québec à Montréal )
  • Martin Filteau (Centre des technologies textiles)