Special Feature 1ライフイノベーション

Easing the Burden on Workers in Tough Conditions

Highly air permeable, waterproof and moisture permeable, and anti-infection protective clothing

Protective clothing with better breathability and moisture permeability, to make it easier to work

Noboru SawamatsuNoboru Sawamatsu
Manager, Special Procurement Section, Uniform & Advanced Textiles Department, Toray Industries, Inc.

Toray offers several types of high-performance protective clothing. In 2014, we supplied the highly air permeable type to workers engaged in decontamination and recovery work in Fukushima Prefecture. In 2015, we developed the waterproof and moisture permeable type for applications such as pesticide spraying and inspection work at nuclear power plants.

In 2016, we will be offering the anti-infection type created by improving the waterproof and moisture permeable type. Clothing that protects wearers from infection sources such as viruses is essential when treating patients where there is a risk of infection. The problem with existing protective clothing is that it tends to trap heat and can lead to heat stroke, which places a strain on the wearer. This inspired us to develop protective clothing that is more comfortable to wear and alleviates the physical burden on medical practitioners, using Toray’s materials that realize improved comfort yet maintain a strong barrier against viruses and other infectious disease. The protective clothing will help medical practitioners to provide suitable treatment even under extreme conditions, and reduce the risk of secondary infection in a pandemic.

In January 2016, we participated in a study carried out by Professor Tsutomu Takeuchi of St. Luke’s International University, in the Republic of Guinea, which was affected by an outbreak of the Ebola virus. The study measured the usability of the clothing and changes in internal temperature and humidity under actual working conditions, confirming that our protective clothing is more comfortable to work in. We will continue to leverage the comprehensive capabilities of the Toray Group to develop even better products and realize mass production.

Humidity Measured inside Protective Clothing, Tested in Republic of Guinea

Humidity Measured inside Protective Clothing, Tested in Republic of Guinea

LIVMOA

Toray uses the LIVMOA™ brand for its line of limited-use (disposable) protective clothing, inspired by the concept of protective clothing that facilitates a “lively mode of action” (LIVMOA) for the wearer.

Voice

Tsutomu Takeuchi

The study that we conducted in the Republic of Guinea confirmed the high quality and usability of Toray’s protective clothing. The clothing performed well in addressing the issues with protective clothing from other manufacturers, delivering improved moisture permeability and abrasion resistance. I hope that Toray can further advance its excellent technology and launch production, so that the clothing can be rapidly brought to market. Furthermore, I hope that Toray will continue to give the kind of detailed consideration to users that is typical of Japanese craftsmanship to design and make products that address the challenges of dealing with infectious disease in the field.

Tsutomu Takeuchi
Professor, Project for Establishment of the School of Public Health, St. Luke’s International University