Never heard of this before, and I am definately not an expert but seeing good old fashion cotton is acceptable for uniforms, seems only fit that a cotton, wireless bra would meet standards.... maybe we should defer this to the jammmmie crew???
As an administrator, I have one question though.... who is going to check to make sure there is compliance with the standard? Ben do you have any words of wisdom on this issue?
She's not a Firefighter, but the need it quite real, and I figured who would know better where to find flame/heat resistant bras than Firefighting women.
While all-cotton is the norm, it isn't a great solution. Electrical Arcs can, and do, go right through flame-resistant outer garments and arc on under wires in bras and will even melt and/or ignite undergarments.
Here's the rub, she's in the Army, which has never really embraced women's undergarments, so she needs a Sports-bra, and almost all sports bras are some mix of lycra/spandex and cotton, or 100% lycra/spandex.
If you've never heard, or thought, of this problem before, ask some of the females in your department what their thoughts on the subject are. I, for one, do not want my wife's bra melting to her torso under her flame resistant outer garments.
Watch the Bra Test Video and see what the hazard is. Frankly women need proper support, or they will suffer the consequences later, so having an appropriate flame and arc-resistant bra is a real requirement.
As an NCO in the Army for two decades, I’ve dealt with "bra issues" quite a bit (being in a career field with a high-female population). Usually it's been "wear the right kind of bra for running." But when it comes to Aviation and combat vehicle operations there is another dimension...the flame factor.
Frankly, the first time a Female FF gets zapped in the Line of Duty and her bra melts or ignites under her uniform it will be something you wished you had addressed in your standards.
I never realized it was an issue until I started poking around this evening to help my wife out...
No disrespect GM but if my entire fire department is up to standards with 100% cotton or wearing the fire wear station uniforms, I am not sure I see your point about cotton in underwear, briefs,,boxers, thongs or bras...
You stated: While all-cotton is the norm, it isn't a great solution. Electrical Arcs can, and do, go right through flame-resistant outer garments and arc on under wires in bras and will even melt and/or ignite undergarments.
With our top of the line gear, then providing undergarments that are industry approved using cotton or fire wear, therefore the wire bra that is arcing is the real issue and if you do not wear an underwire bra than what is the issue of cotton? Is it fit and comfort?
You see my entire department hates wearing the fire wear station uniform, hot, heavy and they cost 80 bucks for the pants and 75 for a shirt. I have never checked to see if any of my guys or gals are wearing cotton underwear, yes (WestPhilly) to include thongs?
Do you understand that everything burns, even that $2000 dollar set of turnout gear. It is only flame resistant and not Fire or ARC proof... so unless you develop a wireless bra using nomex and aramid materials I am not sure you will find such an item in the industry.
Yeah if you screw it up, you'll look like a boob! LOL
So my question for G-man is:
If the Army is requiring this type of clothing, do they not provide it as well? I've been out since 1995, so maybe things have changed. At least they should know where to find it. Arc proof would require the garment to not have any metallic parts, but the flame resistant part has me stumped. Good luck and stay safe!
So what happens when one of your "Smart guys" decides UnderArmour underwear is "Da Bomb" and starts wering it under his uniform? What happens when he's inside a fire building and while his outerwear protects him from the worst of the heat, but his under starts to melt at 280DegF?
What happens when you're investigating "Suspicious smoke" at a business and your Firefighter is caught in an arc his turnout gear survives just fine, but his scivvies melted to his package, or her bra caught fire because of the lycra in it? even 100% bras contain lycra nowadays in order to stretch as women put them on.
We keep saying that Firefighting isn't what is was 20 years ago, and the hazards are changing everyday, yet when it comes the base layer of our PPE, we have a "don't ask, don't tell" attitude towards it?
If one is in a very strong electromagnetic field, for instance near a high power radio transmitter, the field can induce significant current in nearby metallic objects. Bra wires, dental fillings, keys in your pocket (as examples) can heat up almost instantly and cause discomfort. This is exactly what happens when one puts a piece of aluminum foil in a microwave oven.
Of course, the fields needed to produce these effects have to be very strong, well outside the maximum exposure limits, but accidents do happen.
We had a really bad fire a while back. One of the two off the job for a long time due to burns and injuries is a woman and she had no issues with her bra melting or burning her. Her arms were burned and her shirt was black, but her bra was fine. Had she been wearing something like Under Armour, it would have melted into her skin, but the cotton mix fabric was not an issue. She also wears a regular bra that clips and the metal did not burn her skin.
Now, you say that your wife is not a firefighter, so of course she is going to likely be facing some different incidents. If a cotton bra would do it, then she would be better off going to a specialty shop and asking for an all cotton, no metal bra. Some people have allergies, they exist, just not easy to find.
You've got that exactly right, which of course is one of the reasons we wear PPE...
She also has to worry about flash fires, and flight suits are pretty thin. While they are NOEX and won't burn or melt, they don't stop the stuff under them from getting hot, and it doesn't make sense to wear a flight suit which will resist burning and melting to a very high tempurature, 100% cotton drawers and 100% cotton tshirt, when all of the bras either have metal in them (traditional) or are made of Lyca/spandex (sports).