China’s new mandatory standard for clothing that provides protection from heat – GB 38453-2019 – came into effect on July 1, 2020.
Issued by the Standardization Administration of China and included in China’s No.17 announcement on newly approved standards in 2019, GB 38453-2019 applies to protective clothing that is designed to reduce the potential for injury from:
• Contact heat
• Convective heat
• Radiant heat generated by high temperature objects
• Sources of heat in the environment
It does not apply to protective clothing used in firefighting or when working with molten metal or during welding.
Among the primary technical obligations in the standard are requirements relating to fabric quality and protective performance.
Fabric quality consists of appearance, physical and chemical performance for woven fabrics, knitted fabrics and leather materials. Test items include:
• Woven fabrics – formaldehyde, pH value, dimensional change after laundering, decomposable carcinogenic aromatic amines, color fastness to perspiration, color fastness to dry rubbing, color fastness to artificial light, breaking strength, tear strength
• Knitted fabrics – formaldehyde, pH value, dimensional change after washing, decomposable carcinogenic aromatic amines, color fastness to perspiration, color fastness to dry rubbing, color fastness to artificial light, bursting strength
• Leather materials – formaldehyde, chromium (VI), pH value, decomposable carcinogenic aromatic amines, tensile strength, tear strength and fat content in the leather material
Protective performance requirements include:
• General requirement for thermal stability and flames retardant performance
• Thermal insulation requirements for contact heat transmission, convective heat transmission, and radiant heat transmission
• Ready to wear requirements for style and structure, size, specification, sewn, attachment, and dimensional change
Stakeholders are advised to check that their clothing products designed to protect the wearer from injury caused by heat conform to the latest Chinese standard.
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