Oxygen Depletion in Level A Hazmat Suits

Issue 11 and Volume 163.

BY TIFFANY JENKINS, JOSH SMITH, BEN ZIMMERMAN, and RON RAAB What seems to be the greatest danger to fire and rescue personnel at the scene of a hazmat incident? Is it the unknown substance oozing from a tractor trailer? Is it the plume of smoke from a burning tanker? Is it contamination of numerous victims? Thankfully, today hazmat teams are equipped with state-of-the-art tools and technology to deal with such situations, greatly reducing the risk posed to hazmat technicians. The symbolic Level A hazmat suit has long been the standard for protection against unknown agents. Many consider the Level A suit to be the best protection available, but how safe is it? Is the environment inside the suit that much safer than outside? Ironically enough, hazardous materials might not be the biggest danger to a hazmat technician. Many hazmat technicians have wondered what would happen if they ran out of…

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