(Elkton, Maryland - April 10, 2008) W. L. Gore & Associates continues to demonstrate its commitment to the needs of firefighters with its new moisture barrier using GORE® CHEMPAK® Selectively Permeable Fabric. Personal protective equipment (PPE) garments made with this new product provide a high level of total heat loss (THL) while providing protection against specified toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) and chemical warfare agents (CWAs).

GORE® CHEMPAK® Selectively Permeable Moisture Barrier Fabric is the only barrier available in the market today that is Component Recognized to the NFPA 1971 CBRN option. According to Joe Staudenmayer, product specialist at Gore, “One of Gore's core values is to design products based on fitness for use, which means that we deliver the best product to meet or exceed users expectations for their specific application. When developing this fabric, we wanted to ensure that firefighters are protected from both heat stress and potential terrorism incidents they may encounter. We drew on our extensive experience in developing breathable protective barriers to design this new CBRN moisture barrier, a material that provides limited CBRN agent protection and maintains good THL performance.”

NFPA 1971 states that PPE ensembles meeting the CBRN option of the Standard are intended to provide a “minimum level of protection for firefighting personnel from specified CBRN agents.” GORE® CHEMPAK® Selectively Permeable Moisture Barrier Fabric has successfully met the minimum barrier performance requirements and extensive preconditioning challenges established by the Standard. Comprehensive ensemble field testing is expected to begin shortly with departments throughout North America to firmly establish fitness for use. Gore is confident that PPE ensembles using this product will be certified to the NFPA 1971 CBRN option in the near future.

GORE® CHEMPAK® Selectively Permeable Fabric is constructed with a unique non-carbon-based laminate that is both liquid-proof and air-impermeable, which protects the user against both liquid, aerosol, and vapor TICs and CWAs. At the same time, this barrier fabric contributes to total heat loss by allowing moisture vapor from perspiration to escape from the garment, thereby reducing potential heat stress for the firefighter.

GORE® CHEMPAK® Selectively Permeable Moisture Barrier Fabric is the latest addition to Gore's family of products for the fire service industry, which also includes GORE® CHEMPAK® Ultra Barrier Fabric, CROSSTECH® Moisture Barriers, and other CROSSTECH® Products used for PPE.

With more than $2 billion in sales and 8,000 employees worldwide, W. L. Gore & Associates specializes in fluoropolymer innovations that improve the quality of life. Gore has applied its world-renowned expertise to thousands of high-performance solutions in pharmaceutical, consumer, industrial, electronic, medical, and surgical markets. Specifically in the protective fabrics arena, Gore has been a pioneer in developing high-performance barrier products for use in firefighting, EMS, technical rescue, law enforcement, military, and domestic preparedness applications. The company operates more than 45 facilities worldwide with headquarters in Newark, Delaware, USA. For more information about GORE™ CHEMPAK™ Products, call 800.431.GORE or 410.392.3600 or visit gorechempak.com.