Efficacy of air and liquid cooling during light and heavy exercise while wearing NBC clothing

T M McLellan, J Frim, D G Bell
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine 1999, 70 (8): 802-11

BACKGROUND: Studies, to date, have not revealed the extent to which the heat strain of continuous heavy exercise while wearing NBC protective clothing can be reduced by providing liquid- or air-cooling and whether one system is more effective than the other in aiding heat transfer from the body and the clothing. It was of interest to know to what extent present-day cooling technologies can reduce the heat strain of light and heavy exercise in NBC clothing and to compare these reductions to other strategies that have employed changes in clothing design.

HYPOTHESIS: It was hypothesized that there would be no difference between the liquid and air cooling systems and that sufficient cooling power would be delivered to the body to reduce the heat strain of heavy exercise to a level similar to that experienced with light exercise when no cooling was provided.

METHODS: Eight males performed 6 randomized exposures for a maximum of 3 h at 40 degrees C and 30% relative humidity that involved either light (L) (walking at 3.5 km x h(-1) or heavy (H) (walking at 4.8 km x h(-1) and a 5% grade) exercise while wearing the NBC protective clothing ensemble with no cooling (N), liquid (L) or air (A) cooling.

RESULTS: For L exercise, tolerance time was significantly increased from 100 min with N to the maximum of 3 h with either cooling system. There was no difference between L and A cooling in the extent of the changes in rectal temperature, heart rate and heat flow. For H exercise, tolerance time was significantly increased 150% from 57 min with N to 149 min with L and 140 min with A. These latter values for HL and HA were not different from each other but both were significantly greater than L exercise with N. Rectal temperature increased more quickly during HL compared with HA during the first 60 min of exposure but there were no differences between cooling trials for the remainder of the heat exposure.

CONCLUSIONS: It was concluded that sufficient cooling power could be delivered to the body to effectively reduce the heat strain of wearing NBC protective clothing during heavy exercise in a hot environment to a level comparable to or slightly lower than that experienced with light exercise and no cooling.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"