Industry Wire | Firefighter Nation

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Gore Announces PPE Moisture Barrier Safety Alert

W.L. Gore Associates, Inc Published Wednesday, November 13, 2013

W.L. Gore Associates, Inc (“Gore”) has observed isolated incidents of seam tape separation in stored firefighter turnout gear utilizing both GORE-SEAM® tape and non-Gore seam tape (i.e. for Gore and non-Gore moisture barriers, respectively) when the gear has been stored in its original packaging for 3 or more years before being issued and worn.

When seam tape separation occurs, turnout gear may no longer be resistant to liquid penetration per the requirements of NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, and the inspection criteria of NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Firefighting and Proximity Firefighting. Gore’s initial efforts to identify and resolve this turnout gear issue have focused in North America, where the issue was first observed. In order to determine if there is a similar impact in other regions of the world, Gore recently extended its investigation globally, including initiating communications with European turnout gear manufacturers. No adverse effects have been reported to Gore with respect to this industry concern.

For its own response to this concern, and as a part of its continuing heritage of standing behind its products, W.L. Gore Associates, Inc. is implementing a seam tape remediation program for stored turnout gear that utilize Gore moisture barriers and are impacted by this situation. This remediation program involves a new GORE-SEAM® tape that is unaffected by the observed storage interactions. The remediation program is initially targeted in North America, and will be extended regionally if needed.

This alert, and its associated remediation plan, applies to the seam tape in turnout gear that has been in long-term storage, and specifically, to the seam tape in turnout gear utilizing the following Gore moisture barriers:


CROSSTECH® Moisture Barrier (Type 2C)

GORE® RT7100 Moisture Barrier (Type 3B and Type 3D)

CROSSTECH® Black Moisture Barrier (Type 2F) [The seam tape issue discussed in this alert has not been observed with this moisture barrier, but could potentially be affected.]

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[Note: Examples of label designations for garments utilizing Gore moisture barriers are provided at the end of this alert.]

This notification does not apply to:

turnout gear with CROSSTECH® 3-layer Moisture Barrier (Type 4A) [The tape used with this moisture barrier is unaffected by this concern.]

fire fighting footwear, fire fighting gloves, industrial/workwear apparel, non-flame resistant public safety garments, non- flame resistant military protective apparel. and Gore Consumer Fabrics apparel

In addition to the specific information provided below, additional Questions and Answers are provided on Gore’s website at www.GoreProtectiveFabrics.com/FirefighterProductSafetyAlert. You can also contact Gore at 1-800-455-4681.

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