How to Make Your Tyvek Suit Even Safer
Posted by PK Safety Team on Jul 31st 2013
Tyvek suits from DuPont provide an amazing degree of protection from the elements of your work site. Here are some tips to make them work even better for you. Whether you're using your Tyvek suits for basic clean-up trying to keep the dirt and other non-hazardous materials such as oil, paint, and sewage away from your clothes and skin, or you have some really serious particulate matter about such as pesticides and radioactive particles, the goal is to keep it away from you.
Tyvek has excellent barrier properties, but it can tear, and if you're not covering everything, why are you wearing this hot thing anyway? Obviously the type of risk you are exposed to will determine the degree to which you are going to suit up against your elements. Most people don't mind a bit of dirt and grime while they are working. But certain types of clean-up such as mold or asbestos remediation require special care.
The suits we recommend for these more serious hazards are the Tyvek HazMat Coveralls 1414. These are basically the Hoodie-Footies of the safety world. If you're not familiar with Hoodie-Footies, you likely don't have small kids around the house. Tyvek 1414s have booties, a hood, and cuffs with elastic, all capable of keeping out particles down to 1 micron. One micron is about 100th of the diameter of a human hair, so you're also protected against hair, if that's worrying you.
One thing to know about the size of the Tyvek suits is Go Big. Unless you are standing still in your so-called work, you're going to need to bend, squat, and otherwise move about while completing your task. Squatting in a Tyvek suit that fits in all other regards is going to result in a swift and ungraceful tear in a sensitive area. By ordering one size bigger than usual, you'll have a far better chance of keeping your suit whole and your dignity intact.
Anther smart idea is taping your gloves to your suit. Again, buying a bigger size is going to help with the issue of exposing more skin than you'd like. But taping the sleeves and gloves together with duct tape or even masking tape will keep your arms covered while reaching and stretching. This is also a great idea if you plan on sanding fiberglass. Fiberglass dust, while not as dangerous to your skin as lead or asbestos, is really irritating nonetheless.
Finally, if you are using a Tyvek suit with the booties, you may have a tough time getting them into your boots. If you have baby powder or corn starch that you can dust the booties with before you try to get them inside your shoe, you will have better luck than just trying to squeeze them in like socks. As we noted above, Tyvek is tough, but it can tear, so be careful. Also, it's a good idea to clean your boots thoroughly if you are working with hazardous materials. It's great to protect yourself from the elements, but make sure you don't track asbestos or lead dust home with you on your boots.
That's enough Tyvek knowledge for now. If you have specific questions about the type of protection Tyvek suits offer, or if you have other hazardous clean-up questions, please contact us online at pksafety.com or call us at 800-829-9580 Monday through Friday from 6am till 5pm PST.
Thanks for reading.