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Light Liquid Splash

Last updated: February 20, 2019

What Does Light Liquid Splash Mean?

Light liquid splash is a term primarily used by protective-garment manufacturers to describe the ability of a piece of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as coveralls or an apron, to prevent worker exposure to liquids.

Garments that protect against light liquid splash only provide protection against small volumes of liquid. These may include light sprays at low pressure, a single small-volume splash, or exposure to liquid contaminants on surfaces such as sprayed foliage. Furthermore, the level of protection provided by garments offering light-liquid-splash protection must only be substantive enough to protect individuals from exposure long enough for them to safely remove the splashed garment.

Safeopedia Explains Light Liquid Splash

The low level of protection provided by these garments is a trade-off for the greater levels of breathability and comfort they offer compared to garments that provide a stronger barrier against liquids. Professions that utilize this level of protection include facilities maintenance workers (e.g., cleaners who use chemicals such as bleach) and pharmaceutical drug compounders. Testing criteria for materials that provide light-liquid-splash protection are given in ISO standard 6530:2005.

Chemical protective suits that provide light protection against liquids are referred to as “Type 6” garments under Europe’s EN standardization system. Type 6 requirements are provided by EN standard 13034. They provide the lowest level of protection against exposure to liquids and are used when risk of exposure is low and a full permeation barrier is not deemed necessary. In the context of hazardous materials, a major reason a full permeation barrier would be viewed as unnecessary is that the worker may quickly remove the garment once exposure to liquid occurs.

Because light-liquid-splash resistance does not require full permeation resistance, materials that offer light-liquid-splash protection do not need to undergo permeation testing to be certified as compliant with recognized consensus standards. Under both EN and ANSI standards (EN ISO 6530:2005; ANSI 103-2010), the testing procedures defined under ISO 6530:2005 are required to certify that a garment provides adequate light-liquid-splash protection. These are referred to as penetration and repellency tests, and they involve the dispersal of 10 mL of challenge liquid onto a garment over a 10-second period. The amount of liquid that permeates the material and the amount that is repelled off of it are then measured, and they must fall within specific parameters in order for the garment to be deemed standard-compliant.

Garments that provide light-liquid-splash protection may or may not be listed as providing protection against hazardous substances. Those that do protect against hazardous substances only protect against chemicals that are compatible with the garment material (i.e. that do not react with or damage it). Material rated for light-liquid-splash protection may also be rated as providing other forms of protection, such as protection against solid particulates and abrasion.


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