Independent Tests: iEvac Smoke/Fire Hood

Safety Act Designated

TESTED BY

  • tested-by-intertek
  • tested-by-assay-technology

US Army Research, Development & Engineering Command

Edgewood Chemical Biological Center

What independent tests
have been performed on the iEvac?

Certification to American Standard

The iEvac® is certified as an Air-Purifying Respiratory Protective Smoke Escape Device. This certification is issued by the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) and certifies that iEvac® is in complete conformance with the American National Standard for Air-Purifying Respiratory Protective Smoke Escape Devices. This certification is earned after extensive independent testing to prove compliance with every requirement in the Standard. This testing was performed by Intertek and Assay Technology .

Total Performance

The iEvac® has a protection factor recorded in laboratory tests of greater than 90,000.The overall effectiveness of  iEvac ® depends on the filters, the nose cup and the neck dam. Each of these three integrated elements must play a part in order for the entire hood to be protective. The overall effectiveness is determined by a Fit Test, and is measured by checking the performance while being worn by a human subject during a series of standardized exercises. The Fit Test result is expressed as the protection factor of the iEvac®. For reference, OSHA has assigned a protection factor of 10 for N95 masks and 50 for rubberized full face masks. Another benchmark is the NIOSH test requirement for CBRN APER masks (respirators for escape from toxic and dangerous atmospheres containing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards). NIOSH requires a protection factor of 2,000 for these masks. The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command – Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Aberdeen, Maryland conducted laboratory tests of the iEvac® using the NIOSH methods and procedures. Under these rigorous protocols, they measured the fit test protection factor for the iEvac® as being greater than 90,000 .

ASTM E2952-14 Total Performance Requirements

The iEvac® has a recorded Total Inward Leakage of less than 0.01%. This characteristic was measured by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command – Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Aberdeen, Maryland. For reference, the requirement for certification to the ASTM E2952-14 standard is that the total inward leakage shall not exceed 2%. Additionally, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command – Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Aberdeen, Maryland measured and recorded the ocular leakage of the iEvac® Hood as less than 0.01%. The ocular leakage is the exposure to contamination that a wearer will experience due to leakage through the neck dam to the interior of the hood, but measured outside the nose cup. For reference, the requirement for certification to the ASTM E2952-14 standard is that the ocular leakage shall not exceed 20%.

Gases

The iEvac® filters are a proprietary blend of materials specifically formulated to be effective against a wide range of gases and particulate aerosols. (Tests against particulate aerosols are described below.) Probably the two most dangerous gases encountered during an emergency escape from a fire are carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. These special filters will provide protection against both these gases. They are designed to provide protection against these life-threatening products of combustion and also against other toxic industrial gases and terrorist gases.

iEvac ® filters have been independently tested against gases. Among the tests are the following:

carbon monoxide – a very toxic by-product of combustion tested at 3,000 ppm,5,000 ppm, and 10,000 ppm

hydrogen cyanide – a very toxic by-product of combustion tested at 400 ppm

sulfur dioxide – a benchmark acid gas tested at 100 ppm

acrolein – a benchmark organic vapor tested at 100 ppm

cyclohexane – a benchmark hydrocarbon gas tested at 500 ppm

hydrogen chloride – a benchmark acid gas tested at 1,000 ppm

ammonia – benchmark toxic industrial gas tested at 1,250 ppm

chlorine – benchmark toxic industrial gas tested at 200 ppm

phosgene – benchmark toxic industrial gas tested at 125 ppm

formaldehyde – a benchmark toxic industrial gas tested at 250 ppm

phosphine – a benchmark toxic industrial gas tested at 150 ppm

DMMP – a simulant for Sarin nerve gas tested at 1,000 ppm

hydrogen sulfide – a benchmark toxic industrial gas tested at 1,000 ppm, 5,000 ppm, 10,000 ppm, and 20,000 ppm

tear Gas (CN) – an irritant toxic chemical tested at 16 ppm at low, standard and high humidity for at least eight hours, both as received and following preconditioning.

tear Gas (CS) – an irritant toxic chemical tested at 3 ppm at low, standard and high humidity for at least eight hours, both as received and following preconditioning.

Carbon dioxide build-up – A special consideration is build-up of carbon dioxide inside the hood. We exhale carbon dioxide naturally, and it is important to make sure that this gas does not build up inside the hood. iEvac ® is tested to make sure that the levels inside the hood are safe for the duration of an escape.

Particles: Particulate aerosols

The iEvac® filters are a proprietary blend of materials specifically formulated to be effective against a wide range of particulate aerosols and gases. (Tests against gases are described above.)

The iEvac particulate aerosol filtering element is rated as a P100 with a filtering efficiency of at least 99.97% will provide respiratory protection against all particulate aerosols.

What are aerosols? Understood colloquially, the word ‘aerosol’ usually refers to an aerosol spray can or the spray that comes out of such a can.  However, a particulate aerosol is not just a spray: an aerosol is a suspension of airborne particles, whether liquid droplets or solids.

Dust is an aerosol formed by mechanical breaking down of bulk material into small airborne particles that are solid and irregular in shape.  Fume is an aerosol of solid particles formed by condensation of vapors formed at elevated temperatures. Smoke is an aerosol formed by condensation of combustion products, generally of organic materials. Mist is an aerosol formed by mechanical shearing of a bulk liquid ; for example, by atomization, nebulization, bubbling, or spraying. Fog is an aerosol formed by condensation of water vapor on atmospheric nuclei at high relative humidity. Smog is a popular term for a pollution aerosol derived from a combination of smoke and fog.

Many properties of particulate aerosols, other than their size, can affect the environment and health. These properties include the particle shape, the mass concentration, the particle volume and its velocity.

A bioaerosol is a particulate aerosol that contains living organisms or was released from living organisms. They include microorganisms and fragments, virus particles, bacteria, fungal spores and plant pollen, and particulate waste from all varieties of living things. Published studies have shown no significant difference in the filtration of biological aerosols and non-biological aerosols with similar physical properties. Studies have confirmed that non-biological particles of similar aerodynamic diameter can be used for assessing the performance of respirators against biological aerosols. The P100 material used in the iEvac to filter all types of particulate aerosols is the same grade of material used in biological safety cabinets used to work safely with materials requiring a defined biosafety level.

In keeping with its design excellence, the iEvac® filters contain the best possible particle filter, a high efficiency particulate air HEPA filter. This is the same material used in military gas masks to provide protection against biohazards. The HEPA filter element used in iEvac® has been tested and has removed 99.996% of particles that are 0.2 micrometers in size. It is this ability of the filters to remove sub-micrometer particulates that keeps out the small particulate aerosol that may be present in aerosols such as smoke. NIOSH has a number of categories for particulate aerosol filters. The most demanding category is P100. Such filters are intended for the removal of any particulate aerosols  including oil-based liquid particulates and for use for more than a single shift. The certification program includes tests performed by NIOSH to prove that the P100 filters have a minimum efficiency of 99.97 percent when tested against dioctyl phthalate (DOP) or equivalent liquid with a particle size of 0.185 micrometers.

The filters will also remove very heavy particles such as soot. Testing is performed to ensure that the filters will remove the soot from the air and still not clog the filters so that it is too difficult to breathe.

Breathing Resistance

The iEvac® filters are very protective and also designed for easy breathing. This is important in all applications but is particularly necessary in emergency situations when the wearer may be inclined to panic. The iEvac® is tested for both inhalation and exhalation resistance.

Physical Hazards

Many physical hazards may be encountered during an emergency such as when escaping from a fire. There will be flames, heat, hot material dripping, and other hazards. Vision will be very important, as will the need for the packaging to stand up to vibration and puncture threats from sharp objects.

Inhalation Temperature

It is important to establish that the air that comes through the filters does not become overheated by the filtration process . This is established by passing 5000 ppm carbon monoxide at a temperature of 77°F (25°C) and checking for an increase in air temperature.

Flammability

Tests for heat and flame resistance. During theses tests components will not have an afterflame longer than 5 seconds. No component will drip, melt or develop a visible hole or be damaged so that eyes or lungs are exposed to smoke. These tests involve a temperature of 1475°F (800°C).

Molten drip

In this test, a flaming drip from an ignited polypropylene rod is allowed to drop onto the hood. No after flame lasts longer than 5 seconds.

Radiant heat

The hood is exposed to a radiant heat panel comprising two quartz lamps with a surface temperature between 980°F (527°C) and 1700°F (927°C) determined from a spectral emittance curve. The hood is located 9.5 inches away from the radiant heat panel and exposed for 15 seconds. The requirement is that the hood is not damaged in a way that exposes eyes or lungs to gas or smoke and that the temperature at the top of the head and inside the eyepiece shall not exceed 158°F (70°C). The hood passed.

Putting the iEvac® hood on very quickly

The hood can be unpackaged and put on in less than 30 seconds

Optical properties

Light transmission, haze and field of vision are all tested to make sure that the iEvac® viewing area is big enough and durable enough.

Fogging

A test is conducted to ensure that a person can clearly read a standard eye chart while wearing the iEvac® hood.

Corrosion

The iEvac® hood is exposed to a corrosive salt spray, and tested afterwards

Vibration

This test involves vibrating the iEvac® packaging for 10,000 cycles.

Puncture and tear

The iEvac® package is raked by a sharp pointed heavy striker. The packaging does not puncture, rip or tear

Operational Package Leakage

The iEvac® package is immersed in water heated to a temperature of 160°F (70°C) to a depth of 24 inches (600 mm) and must not leak.

Temperature exposure

The packaged hood is exposed to a temperature of 32°F (0°C) for 24 hours then exposed to 180°F (70°C) for 24 hours. Then the hood is unpacked and tested for performance.

Pressure conditioning

The packaged iEvac® hood is exposed to 100 cycles of differential pressure. Each cycle is 60 seconds at ambient, 20 seconds going from ambient to 300 mbar below, 60 seconds at 300 mbar below and 20 seconds back to ambient. Then the hood is unpacked and tested for performance.

More Test Data

We are continuing to develop more test data for the iEvac® and we will add these to our web site as they become available. Ask for test data and details of test methods

Precautions

Of course, no filter and no hood can provide 100% protection, so be sure to follow the instructions in the User Manual.