Reduction of microbial dispersion by clothing

Whyte, W. and Bailey, P. (1985) Reduction of microbial dispersion by clothing. Journal of Parenteral Science and Technology, 39(1), pp. 51-60.

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Experiments were carried out to relate the airborne dispersion of microbes to the occlusive properties of fabrics and the design of clean room clothing. The pore size, air and particle penetration of the fabrics were determined and these gave a good indication of their contamination control properties when made up into complete garments. Good fabrics with moderate air and particle permeability and a bubble point pore diameter of about 20 μm reduced microbial dispersion to at least 10% of poor fabrics. However, the best fabrics, as determined by fabric tests, proved to be very impermeable to air exchange. When these impermeable fabrics were made into garments, a person's movements forced air out of the garment's closures, thus causing more microbial dispersion than that found from garments made of less impenetrable fabrics. The design of garments was also studied. The greatest reduction in microbial dispersion was obtained from designs which fully enveloped and enclosed the wearer. A conventional but well-designed coverall made from a good fabric, with hood and full-length boots, could reduce airborne microbial dispersion to about 4% of that dispersed through a surgical gown. However, when highly impenetrable fabric was made into clothing with special closures designed to prevent the pumping out of bacteria-laden air, the bacterial dispersion could be reduced to at least 1% that of a coverall made of poor fabric.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whyte, Dr William
Authors: Whyte, W., and Bailey, P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Journal Name:Journal of Parenteral Science and Technology

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