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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Classification Systems


Civilian PPE

 
OSHA/EPA Classification Level A Level B Level C Level D
Protection provided Highest level of skin, eye, respiratory protection Highest level of respiratory protection; lower level of skin protection. Lower level of respiratory and skin protection.

Adequate for radiation event response where other hazards have been determined not to be present.
Lowest level of respiratory and skin protection.
Indications Identified or suspected hazards requiring maximal skin, eye, and respiratory protection.

Working in confined areas where hazards have not been fully characterized.
Identified or suspected hazards requiring maximal respiratory protection.

Working in atmospheres containing less than 19.5% oxygen.

Lower level skin hazard may be present.
Hazards have been identified.

Hazards will not be absorbed by or adversely affect exposed skin.

All criteria for using an air purifying respirator are met (i.e., concentrations of all airborne contaminants are known, appropriate filters are available, oxygen levels are sufficient).
Atmosphere contains no known hazards

No or very low potential for unexpected respiratory or skin contact with environmental hazards.
Who should wear First responders

When identified or potential risk of biological, liquid or vapor chemical hazard exposure exists.
First responders

When entering the most heavily contaminated radiation zones to rescue victims or protect valuable property necessary for public welfare
First responders and first receivers

When caring for patients/victims likely to be contaminated with radiological material
First receivers

When working in post-decontamination areas should wear Standard Precautions PPE (per protocol) for infection control purposes*

 

 
NFPA PPE Classes Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4
  OSHA/EPA Level A PPE Equivalent

NFPA 1991 (2005 ed.) "Class 1" PPE ensemble worn with NIOSH CBRN SCBA
OSHA/EPA Level B PPE Equivalent

NFPA 1994 (2007 ed.) "Class 2" PPE ensemble worn with NIOSH CBRN SCBA

OR

NFPA 1971 (2007 ed.) "CBRN option" PPE ensemble worn with NIOSH CBRN SCBA
OSHA/EPA Level C PPE Equivalent

NFPA 1994 (2007 ed.) "Class 3" PPE ensemble worn with NIOSH CBRN APR/PAPR

OR

NFPA 1994 (2007 ed.) "Class 4" PPE ensemble worn with NIOSH CBRN APR/PAPR

OR

NFPA 1951 (2007 ed.) "Technical Rescue Ensemble" worn with NIOSH CBRN APR/PAPR
OSHA/EPA Level D PPE Equivalent

NFPA 1994 (2007 ed.) "Class 4" PPE ensemble

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Military PPE - Mission-Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) Gear

 
MOPP Gear MOPP 4 MOPP 3 MOPP 2 MOPP 1 MOPP 0 MOPP Ready
Indications Attack with CBRN agents is imminent or has already occurred.

OR

CBRN hazard is not fully characterized.
Attack with CBRN agents is probable or has already occurred. Preattack.

Attack with CBRN agents is likely.
Preattack.

Attack with CBRN agents is possible.

Time to achieve MOPP 4 from MOPP 1: ≤4 minutes
Preattack.

Period of increased alert.

Time to achieve MOPP 4 from MOPP 0: ≤8 minutes
Preattack.
Protection Provided Highest degree of skin, eye, respiratory protection. Used in areas where skin contact with liquids or vapors is nonhazardous.

Highest degree of respiratory protection.
High degree of skin protection. High degree of protection against persistent chemical agents None immediately.

Equipment must be available within 5 minutes for putting on ("donning").
None.
Respiratory protection Worn Worn Carried Carried Carried Carried
Overgarment Worn Worn Worn Worn Readily available Can be issued within 2 hours
Boots Worn Worn Worn Readily available Readily available Can be issued within 2 hours
Helmet Cover Worn Worn Worn Readily available Readily available Can be issued within 2 hours
Gloves Worn Readily available Readily available Readily available Readily available Can be issued within 2 hours

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US Department of Health & Human Services     
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response National Library of Medicine