Contact Sensitivity of FR Cotton & NOMEX

Wearers are often concerned about possible allergic reactions from wearing flame resistant garments. They are also concerned about taking these garments home, having them in the closet with other clothing, and laundering them with the family wash. Extensive testing has shown that the fabrics used in Bulwark flame resistant garments are not harmful by either contact or ingestion.

Industrial laundries are equipped to launder all types of fabrics and degrees of soiling. If cleaning is the responsibility of the wearer, having these garments in the home is not harmful to others. If they are not soiled with contaminants that should not be washed together with the family laundry, they may be mixed in wash loads without concern. If they are soiled with flammable contaminants, of course they should be washed separately.

The majority of Bulwark garments are made from either durable flame resistant 100% cotton or blends of 88% cotton/12% nylon or NOMEX IIIA. NOMEX IIIA is a blend of 93% NOMEX, 5% KEVLAR, and 2% proprietary static dissipative fiber. NOMEX is a DuPont registered trademark for its family of aromatic polyamide (aramid) fibers. NOMEX is chemically inert, and DuPont states that based on more than 30 years experience the fabric poses minimal risk to human health and the environment.

Durable flame resistant cotton and cotton blend fabrics have been extensively tested for skin irritation, contact hypersensitivity, and toxicology from ingestion. All of these tests have shown no irritation or contact sensitivity caused by the flame-retardant finish.

Finally, Bulwark and its predecessor companies have manufactured garments from various flame resistant fabrics for more that 35 years. During this time hundreds of direct cutting and sewing operators have handled millions of yards of fabric. There has never been an occupational injury or illness linked to these fabrics.

Bulwark is confident that the flame resistant garments we provide are safe to wear and are not hazardous to the families of employees.

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How flame-resistant fabrics work

Flame-resistant (FR) fabrics and garments are intended to resist ignition, prevent the spread of flames away from the immediate area of high heat impingement, and to self-extinguish almost immediately upon removal of the ignition source.

Normal work apparel will ignite and continue to burn if exposed to an ignition source such as flame or electric arc. Everyday fabrics will continue to burn until they are extinguished or all flammable material is consumed.