Extending work tolerance time in the heat in protective ensembles with pre- and per-cooling methods
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Abstract© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Objectives: Investigate whether a range of cooling methods can extend tolerance time and/or reduce physiological strain in those working in the heat dressed in a Class 2 chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) protective ensemble. Methods: Eight males wore a Class 2 CBRN ensemble and walked for a maximum of 120 min at 35 °C, 50% relative humidity. In a randomised order, participants completed the trial with no cooling and four cooling protocols: 1) ice-based cooling vest (IV), 2) a non-ice-based cooling vest (PCM), 3) ice slushy consumed before work, combined with IV (SLIV) and 4) a portable battery-operated water-perfused suit (WPS). Mean with 95% confidence intervals are presented. Results: Tolerance time was extended in PCM (46 [36, 56] min, P = 0.018), SLIV (56 [46, 67] min, P < 0.001) and WPS (62 [53, 70] min, P < 0.001), compared with control (39 [30, 48] min). Tolerance time was longer in SLIV and WPS compared with both IV (48 [39, 58 min]) and PCM (P ≤ 0.011). After 20 min of work, HR was lower in SLIV (121 [105, 136] beats·min−1), WPS (117 [101, 133] beats·min−1) and IV (130 [116, 143] beats·min−1) compared with control (137 [120, 155] beats·min−1) (all P < 0.001). PCM (133 [116, 151] beats·min−1) did not differ from control. Conclusion: All cooling methods, except PCM, utilised in the present study reduced cardiovascular strain, while SLIV and WPS are most likely to extend tolerance time for those working in the heat dressed in a Class 2 CBRN ensemble.
CitationMaley, M. J., Minett, G. M., Bacj, A. J. E., Stewart, K. L. and Stewart, I. B. (2020) Extending work tolerance time in the heat in protective ensembles with pre- and per-cooling methods, Applied Ergonomics, 85 (May 2020), 103064.
SponsorsThis project is financially supported by the United States Government through the United States Department of Defense (DOD).
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