Physiological problems associated with wearing NBC protective clothing during cold weather.Aviat Space Environ Med. 2000 Feb; 71(2):184-9.AS
This report considers how thermal balance of soldiers wearing nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protective clothing in combination with the Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) is affected during work in cold weather. A review of published reports concerning physiological consequences of wearing NBC protective clothing during cold exposure was completed. The findings reported in the experimental literature were too limited to adequately forecast the effects of adding NBC clothing to ECWCS. To remedy the information gap, simulation modeling was employed to predict body temperature changes during alternating bouts of exercise and rest throughout 8 h of exposure to three different severely cold conditions. Published findings indicate that NBC protective clothing may inadequately protect against hand and finger cooling, especially during rest following strenuous activity. No evidence substantiates suggestions that wearing NBC protective masks increases susceptibility to facial frostbite. Collectively, the limited experimental work and the results of simulation modeling argue against any increased risk of hypothermia associated with wearing NBC protective clothing while working in the cold. However, wearing NBC protective clothing during strenuous activity in cold weather may increase the risk of hyperthermia, and cause sweat accumulation in clothing which may compromise insulation and increase the risk of hypothermia during subsequent periods of inactivity.