The HazMat Guys

We sat down with Dan Bowen from DuPont again to discuss some pretty interesting things about suits.

Complete Show Notes

1:05 Reintroduction to Dan Bowen

  • Technical Specialist for DuPont Protection Technologies in the protective garment department
  • DuPont offers a wide variety of protective garments for a wide range of jobs from lightweight clean-up suits to encapsulated Level A
  • Works with distributors and end users across North America
  • Supports industrial users in addition to fire services and law enforcement

3:00 Dan’s Thoughts on Fentanyl

  • There’s no one answer for what to do with fentanyl because there are so many different unique situations – first responders have to tailor their responses accordingly
  • Response agencies have to continue to learn from the fentanyl epidemic to fine-tune and improve our response to fentanyl emergencies
  • Your role in responding to an emergency dictates your PPE selection – you have to know which chemical you’re dealing with before you can make a decision on what to wear
  • There’s been a bit of hysteria over fentanyl, but it’s important not to overreact and listen to the science out there

9:50 Dan’s Advice for Making Entry and Choosing PPE at a Fentanyl Scene

  • Keep in mind that fentanyl is a solid, which means protective garment makers can’t conduct permeation tests
  • Remember that fentanyl isn’t a dermal hazard – it’s a respiratory and mucus membrane hazard
  • Try to keep the material at the job site – venting it isn’t really an appropriate response
  • An SCBA isn’t your only option – you can also use an APR, PAPR, or anything else that provides solid respiratory protection – these cost less, so you can throw them away when you’re done and don’t have to worry about decon
  • You can also use an encapsulated Level B when you’re dealing with fentanyl – still protects your SCBA, but costs less than an encapsulated Level A – keep in mind that encapsulated Level B suits aren’t vapor resistant
  • There’s also a concern about liability within management – job 1 is to keep people safe, while job 2 is figuring out who’s responsible for liability purposes
  • OSHA requires companies to conduct a hazard analysis, document, and provide workers with the proper protection
  • Dan doesn’t recommend using general lightweight protective fabrics with fentanyl, since they don’t block airflow
  • Also warns against wearing sewn seam garments (as opposed to taped seam) since seams have tiny holes and fentanyl is a particle hazard – this can also be problematic at decon because you don’t want to flush fentanyl particles into the suit
  • Approach entry pragmatically – know your options and be informed about what you’re dealing with – have a plan in place

28:50 DuPont and Protective Suits

  • DuPont’s website has whitepapers that cover new hazards and advice on selecting the right PPE to handle them
  • Check out SafeSPEC™ for more information. You’ll find:
    • Permeation data
    • Whitepapers
    • Products with tech data and sizing charts
  • You can also download SafeSPEC™ as an app – in this form, it’s more focused on the first responder who’s out in the field – contains permeation data and garment information

31:50 How to Contact Dan

  • Email: Dan Bowen
  • Cell phone: (302) 559-8931

Have a question? Send an email to or leave a message on our Haz Mat Guys comment hotline: 843-628-1484

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