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Workers can beat the heat with 'cooling vest'

A new 'cooling vest' worn under clothing can combat the summer heat

An example of a cooling vest
An example of a cooling vest

A US company is marketing what it deems the perfect solution to the relentless summer heat just around the corner: a ‘cooling vest’ designed to be worn under clothing. Applications include workers facing heat stress on construction sites, in utilities, hazardous waste clean-up, chemical and other industrial environments.

The Steelevest absorbs body heat by means of frozen gel Thermo-strips inserted into the cooling vest, providing two to four hours of cooling comfort at a time. The Thermo-strips require no special handling, and can be kept frozen in a cooler for a quick change-out.

The vest is made from flame-retardant cotton, and is durable and washable. It also absorbs condensation and is lightweight (2 kg to 5 kg). Four side tabs and adjuster clips ensure a comfortable fit for all. Four- and six-pocket versions are available.

The Thermo-strip cooling packs are water-based, and therefore have a high latent heat capacity. They provide a fail-safe cooling method, can be frozen and melted repeatedly without degradation, are non-toxic and have no moving parts requiring maintenance.

Walter Teal from the Environmental Sciences Division of the Navy Clothing & Textile Research Facility in the US comments: “Passive cooling vests such as the Steelevest are useful for reducing heat stress when worn with general utility clothing, and have found widespread use in both the military and industry.”

Steele Inc. is a family-run business that supplies high-quality products worldwide. A cooling vest and eight Thermo-strips retails for US$100 on its web site.

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