Above and Beyond OSHA

Homeland Defender® suits raise the bar for what first responders should expect from their CBRN ensembles. OSHA-rated HAZMAT suits are designed for cleanup and decontamination operations but can be cumbersome, uncomfortable, and delicate. The Multi-Threat suit, RC3 suit, XRT suit, and BRN-94 suit are designed specifically for operations where speed, comfort, and durability are crucial.

NFPA 1990 vs. OSHA

Most HAZMAT and SWAT teams operate in OSHA-rated suits that have changed very little in design and functionality for decades. The problem with this approach is that OSHA ratings only indicate how the suit is designed to interact with the respirator or SCBA and do not factor in any performance requirements related to chemical permeation or penetration. In contrast, the NFPA 1994 and NFPA 1992 standards are built around both design and performance requirements. While no HAZMAT suit can guard against all chemical and biological threats, ensembles certified to NFPA standards are intended to provide protection against a much broader range of threats than basic OSHA-rated suits, which are made from numerous fabric technologies, each engineered to protect against specific chemical threats. Although there is no official relation between the two standards, a rough comparison of the various NFPA 1994 classes to OSHA levels may be helpful.


  • Are Blauer’s Homeland Defender® suits OSHA certified?
    No. OSHA provides ensemble certification guidance but does not certify suits.Blauer suits are certified to the NFPA 1994 Standard on Protective Ensembles for First Responders to CBRN Terrorism Incidents and NFPA 1992. The NFPA standards are more comprehensive than OSHA guidelines because they specify design and protective performance requirements. OSHA ratings only apply to the design of a suit for various threat levels and how the suit fits with a respirator.
  • What is GORE® CHEMPAK® Fabric made of?
    GORE® CHEMPAK® fabrics are made with high-strength fluoropolymer barrier films that are laminated to various inner and outer shell fabrics for use in CBRN contaminated environments. GORE® CHEMPAK® Ultra-Barrier fabric is impermeable and is appropriate for use in environments where CBRN agents are at or above IDLH levels when worn with approved SCBA systems. GORE® CHEMPAK® Selectively-Permeable fabric is breathable and offers protection against CBRN agents in concentrations below IDLH when worn with approved respirators.
  • How do I care for my Homeland Defender® suit?
    Homeland Defender suits require only basic storage and maintenance. Every Homeland Defender® suit comes with a User Manual, which provides detailed instructions for storage and care of the garment. To insure the protective performance of your Homeland Defender® suit, it is important that these instructions are followed at all times.
  • What is the shelf-life of Homeland Defender® suits?
    Homeland Defender® suits have a shelf life of ten years if basic storage and care instructions are followed. The actual shelf life depends on the extent and conditions under which the garment is used and stored. Blauer is conducting aging studies with an independent laboratory and may revise this figure upwards if sufficient data is obtained indicating longer shelf-life.
  • Can any SCBA or APR/PAPR face piece be worn with Homeland Defender® suits?
    No. Because every face piece is constructed differently, the NFPA 1994 Standard requires that ensembles be certified with specific SCBA’s, APR’s, or PAPR’s to ensure user safety. Only respirators and SCBA systems that are certified by NIOSH as CBRN approved and listed on each Homeland Defender® ensemble’s certification may be worn.
  • Do Homeland Defender® suits provide thermal or FR protection?
    The Multi-Threat suit provides limited FR protection due to its NOMEX® IIIA outer shell, which will resist melting, dripping, and burning when exposed to high heat and flame. However, the suit does not have any insulative layer and will not protect the wearer from sustained high temperatures. The XRT suit offers no FR or thermal protection.
  • Can Homeland Defender® suits be deconed and re-used?
    The Multi-Threat suit is designed to be washed/dried multiple times for reuse if not contaminated. Users should follow all care instructions as detailed in the User Manual to insure the protective qualities of their Homeland Defender® suits are adequately maintained. The XRT suit is designed for more limited use and has not been evaluated against wash/dry cycles.
  • Does Blauer warranty its Homeland Defender® suits?
    Yes. Blauer warrants that every Homeland Defender® suit is free of defects in materials and workmanship and is certified to the specified NFPA 1994 Class started on its certification label when it is shipped from our factory. If an agency or end-user receives a Homeland Defender® suit from Blauer and it is damaged or suspected of having defects, Blauer will coordinate the return and evaluation of the suit and issue a new or repaired suit as appropriate.
  • How do I obtain evaluation samples of Homeland Defender® suits?
    Contact Blauer’s Homeland Defender® service desk by phone (800-225-6715 x 245) or e-mail (Chembio@blauer.com). We will discuss your agency’s needs and coordinate an in-person demonstration.
  • Does Blauer also sell the respirators and boots that are certified with Homeland Defender® suits?
    No. Blauer manufactures and sells the suits only.
  • How much do Homeland Defender® suits cost?
    Pricing for Homeland Defender® suits is based on unit volume for each purchase order. Contact our Homeland Defender® service desk for a quote.
  • I have additional questions about Blauer’s Homeland Defender® line. Who should I contact to get more information?
    Please either contact our Homeland Defender® help desk (800-225-6715 x 245) or e-mail (chembio@blauer.com) or your local Blauer sales representative.