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

Evaluating Physiological Response to Wearing Personal Protective Clothing: New Waterproof-Breathable Membrane Technologies for Firefighting Outfits


Personal protective clothing contributes to the thermal and physiological stress experienced by workers. Such stresses are a health and safety concern for some workers, in particular firefighters and workers in aluminum smelters, blast furnaces, foundries, metal fabrication and so forth.

For firefighters, thermophysiological stress increases the risk of cardiovascular events, the most common cause of death among firefighters.

The goal of this project is to assess the physiological response of firefighters to the wearing of personal protective clothing with different moisture-proof and waterproof-breathable membranes with improved water vapor permeance and heat transfer properties.

The availability of these new membrane technologies on the market, depending on their efficacy, should mean greater thermal comfort and help to reduce health risks related to thermal stress. These technologies could be adapted to provide thermal stress protection for other types of workers who must wear such clothing.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2017-0008
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2023
  • Denis Marchand (Université du Québec à Montréal )
  • Chantal Gauvin (IRSST)
  • Justine Decaens (Centre des technologies textiles)