Frankly when I posted this on FFN I was hoping to hear from some women on the subject since this is something they either have had to deal with, or at least have thought about. In particular I think the most knowledgalbe on the subject would be Flight Nurses and EMS workers who only have lightweight PPE on when facing possible flame and/or electric hazards.
As for myself, I never even thought about it until my wife brought it up, and among the other female aviators and non-rated crew members she's spoken with they have had to make compromises and pray it never becomes a factor for them in an accident.
But I have found what my wife was looking for and it eliminates all metal, is fire resistant, won't melt or drip, and has the advantage of also having moisture managment properties.
The women this would benefit the most, in my very non-expert opinion, are: Wildland Firefighters, Soldiers (especially in Convoy Operations when exposed to IED hazards), electrical workers, race car drivers (they make 'em for these women already, but they are very expensive), Flight Nurses, Cops, EMS workers, Welders, and anyone else who only has lightwieght PPE for Fire/Electrical proctection. Admittadely Firefighters wear heavier PPE, but this provides and alternative to traditional Bras while not being made of lycra and/or spandex. Oh, they also come in a bunch of colors.
Anyhow, thanks for the dicussion so far, and like I said before, talk with women you know about it and see what they think of this topic. I know it could be a "touchy subject" but this is a safety-related discussion.
I'm glad that you found what you were looking for. Hopefully one day the geniuses at the Puzzle Palace will realize the situation that female aviators like your wife are in and start providing undergarments that are safer. Although even if they do, they'll be provided by the lowest bidder! Stay safe Brother, Go Army!
I have been in some pretty "hot" situations in the past and although I cannot say that I have worn a bra into a fire I have almost always had cotton under my turn-out gear...to include cotton shirt, pants and yes even my trusty old BVD's....I have yet to have been burned or had anything melt about my "personality"....other that a few minor steam burns on my arms and hands I have been very fortunate.....as for conductivity...it take metal of some sort (normally) to conduct electricity....I haven't ever even heard of a female in the service getting hurt(burned/electrocuted) through the nomex flight suits used by the aircrews...except a major crash....and with that it doesn't matter what you have on....maybe you would like to accompany me on a few calls as you could see what I am talking about...we have burn training coming up in 2 weeks...last one was 850 degrees inside....and guess what....No-one got burned and our females didn't report any bra fires either....Good luck....maybe someone makes an asbestos bra.....you could try the Google Search engine.....Paul
Thanks. The is a like a large ship, it steams ahead just fine, but turning it takes a while. Once it gets wind that enough women at buying their own (or a story on it appears in the Amry Times) it'll decided to start providing them.
Paul, are you referring to the same asbestos that I'm familiar with, that has been banned from the face of the planet? Wouldn't that be ironic, a bra that had to be donned inside a level A suit... or removed by someone wearing same... sorry GM, couldn't resist.
Thanks for the toungue-in-cheek reply! Like I said, I was hoping to hear from subject matter experts, and I don't think any of us males is really qualified. Frankly, I don't think it happens all that often, but it does happen, and I don't want my wife the be the one in a ten-thousand it happens to.
To my un-expert mind with traditional bras you can eliminate the conductivity hazard with plastic fasteners and all-cotton material, but you would still lack support provided bya sports bra, which is the appropraite type of bra for activites such as firefighting.
Here's an extract from an article on the subject:
"Hugh Hoagland of ArcWear.com, based in Kentucky, who runs safety apparel
seminars around the world, is the world’s expert in electric arc burns. “In 1997,” he says, “I received two separate calls regarding female utility workers in Washington State. These two women had suffered a similar fate. Both had been performing routine service jobs, placing a meter in a socket, when an arc flash occurred. One lady had a molten metal droplet from the resulting electric arc fall into her cleavage area and ignite her bra. It burned back about two inches before she could get her shirt off to extinguish it. She was wearing a flame-resistant cotton shirt over a polyester/cotton bra. The other lady was performing the same operation when she received a much larger arc flash. She was wearing a lightweight Nomex shirt and her polyester
bra melted all over the front of her chest. In both cases, the shirt did not burn but the bra did."
I'm thinking you've never had anything melt about your "personality" because you weren't wearing a rubber band wrapped around your chest under your clothes. It's easy for us, we don't wear an extra layer of stuff under our Tshirts.
In the Army we have 100% cotton Tshirts for anyone working in a fire-hazard situation; the standard ACU Tshirt is a moiture-wicking Tshirt and will melt/shrink in high heat. But the Sports Bra for women is still lycra-blend that would get them kicked-off an aircraft if they wore a T-shirt made of it.
So maybe there's a better mouse-trap out there...?
Hey Joe....they had to put it someplace....and where else could it be safer than a womans bra....Men never get close to that.....LOL sorry GM....this is getting way out of control....maybe I had better sign off this one......Paul
OK....GM here it is for you....I found what you were looking for....Yes, they do indeed exist....a flame retardant and arc proof Bra can be found at www.arcstore.com Not sure HOW I found it (not sure I really want to know) Guess I just like a challenge....But anyways here is the information.....Good luck........Stay safe...........Paul
why not save the extensive search and buy a can of spray on fire retardant for material and be done with it, no maker of bras or anything else will alter their line for a few just can't make the cost balance up
Greenman, I appreciate that you have brought this subject up... though I have to agree with Siren that many of the men don't take us female firefighters serious. The reason I am glad you brought this subject up is because i had never considered the fact that wearing an underwire or lycra bra could actually be dangerous. It is something to think about and I am glad you have brought it to my attention.