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Preparing for ISO 16602 Protective Standards

Since 2007, ISO 16602 has provided an objective means of defining the performance of chemical protective apparel. Currently, there is no comprehensive standard for assessing the performance of chemical protective clothing for workers facing chemical hazards in industrial situations in North America.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 16602 is an international standard for classifying chemical protective clothing performance. It is a tool to help safety and occupational health professionals select appropriate chemical protective clothing. Read a brief background and description of ISO 16602 here, and then view full details on preparing for ISO 16602 standards by clicking on the article link below.


Chemical protective garments are available in a wide variety of fabrics and designs. The options are intended to provide protection ranging from chemical vapors and gases, to liquid splash, spray or mist, and to particles and aerosols. Unlike other forms of personal protective equipment (PPE), the performance of chemical protective clothing is not highly regulated in the U.S. or Canada. Some standards exist for hazardous materials emergencies, but little regulation exists regarding routine industrial applications. This void in recognized standards for industrial applications can lead to a complex and potentially confusing environment for those who must select the appropriate apparel for a given hazard or application.


The common global classification system and the standard presentation of the performance data that ISO 16602 provides help to simplify the selection of chemical protective apparel by safety and occupational health professionals. ISO 16602 provides a standard presentation of the performance data. This standard format allows objective evaluation and comparison of chemical protective clothing (CPC) performance among possible options, instead of just relying upon vendors’ claims.

Preparing Your Business Today for ISO 16602 Tomorrow” by Dr. James Zeigler and Susan Lovasic for comprehensive ISO 16602 preparation advice and information.

The article covers many topics, including:

  • Hazard assessment based on the task performed, the surroundings, and the chemical involved
  • Types and classes of protective clothing, based on physical state of the hazard and various mechanical, barrier and flammability properties
  • Applying ISO 16602
  • Labeling requirements

Learn more about ISO 16602

To learn more about the ISO 16602 standard itself, visit www.iso.org.