European standards for disposable chemical protective clothing

CE marking of protective clothing

Protective clothing belongs to the group of personal protective equipment (PPE), and therefore has to comply with the European Directive 89/686/EC which determines the health and safety requirements. Represented symbolically by the CE mark it establishes a system for classifying personal protective equipment based on the level of protection provided.

3 categories

Category I - Minor risk: Minimal risk
Category II - Intermediate risk: Medium risk
Category III - Major risk: Serious or mortal danger

Standards for disposable chemical protective clothing, within Category III

In this category there are 6 levels of protection (types).
Each type represents the ability of the garment to protect against a certain exposure of products (gas, liquid or dust), and defines the minimum requirements of protection. Garment choice is based on the work to be carried out.

Category III Major risk: Serious or mortal danger    
TYPE 1 Gas-tight (gases, fumes, liquids and particle aerosols)   EN 943-1
TYPE 2 Non gas-tight (limited impermeability to gases)   EN 943-2
TYPE 3 Liquid-tight (liquid jet under pressure up to 1,5 bar)   EN 14605
TYPE 4 Liquid aerosol-tight (liquids atomised at a rate of 4,5 l/min under 3 bar pressure)   EN 14605
TYPE 5 Solid airborne particles protection (between 1 and 10 μm)   EN ISO 13982-1
TYPE 6 Limited protection against liquid mist EN 13034

Other types of protection

Protection against particulate radioactive contamination (no radioactive radiation protection!)   EN 1073-2
Biological protection (bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms)   EN 14126
Electrostatic discharge EN 1149   EN 1149-1
The employer’s responsibilities

The employer must evaluate the requirement for protective clothing, depending on the activities to be carried out, and supply the appropriate equipment to employees free of charge. The employer must also provide its employees with training on the types of protective clothing to be worn under the given

The clothing selected must:

  • Be adapted to the nature of the risk
  • Fit the wearer
  • Be comfortable to wear
  • Bear the CE marking if the equipment is intended to protect against mortal danger, as is the case for Category III