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April 23, 2019

ASTM F2302 Reinstated by ASTM

ASTM F2302 has been reinstated as, Standard Performance Specification for Labeling Protective Clothing Which Provides Resistance to Incidental Exposures to Heat or Open Flame.

The previous edition of ASTM F2302, which was titled Standard Performance Specification for Labeling Protective Clothing as Heat and Flame Resistant, had been administratively withdrawn in February 2017 by ASTM because Committee F23 failed to come to agreement on revisions prior to the 8-year deadline. See our 2017 post for more information on the withdrawal. Since that time, the Committee has worked diligently to improve the document in hopes of preventing some of the standards abuse that was taking place with the previous edition.

The first of these improvements comes in the title change. The updated title removes the vague reference to Heat and Flame Resistance and specifies only “Incidental Exposure”. This should help to clarify the intent that this Standard does not apply to those situations where a risk assessment indicates that such exposures are expected. Improvements to the scope further help with this clarification. The Scope now clearly informs the reader that this Standard does not apply to things like Arc-flash (which is covered by ASTM F1506), rainwear (which is covered by ASTM F2733), and industrial flash fire (which is covered by NFPA 2112).

Relaxed Requirements

After clarifying where this Standard applies, or better yet where this Standard does not apply, some of the performance requirements have been relaxed. While the flame resistance test requirements remained the same, the allowance for thermal shrinkage (e.g. Heat Resistance) was doubled from 10% to 20%.

A Warning to End-Users

For instances where a particular garment complies ONLY with ASTM F2302, and not one of the many other FR clothing standards, the new edition requires the following warning to be printed on the garment label. The warning serves to inform wearers that although the fabric has been tested for flame resistance and thermal shrinkage, no assessment of the heat protection (i.e. insulation) has been made.

WARNING: THIS CLOTHING HAS NOT BEEN
EVALUATED FOR INSULATION FROM HIGH HEAT OR
EXTENDED FLAME EXPOSURES. THIS PRODUCT MAY
IGNITE AND/OR MELT ONTO YOUR SKIN IN A HIGH
HEAT OR LARGE OR EXTENDED FLAME EXPOSURE.
USE OF THIS CLOTHING FOR SITUATIONS INVOLVING
POTENTIAL FLASH FIRES, ELECTRICAL ARC
DISCHARGES, OR PROLONGED FIRE OR HEAT EXPOSURE
MAY RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH.


ASTM Standard F2302, 2019, “Standard Performance Specification for Labeling Protective Clothing Which Provides Resistance to Incidental Exposures to Heat or Open Flame,” ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2003, DOI: 10.1520/F2302-19, www.astm.org.

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