Infective agents

The European standard EN 14126 stipulates requirements for protective clothing against infective agents, i.e. virus, bacteria and fungi.

Infective agents

Refers to micro-organisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, cell cultures and human endoparasites which may be able to provoke infection, allergy or toxicity.

Micro-organisms is a very diverse group of organisms which can vary a lot in size, shape, living conditions, infective dose and many other parameters.

Typical sizes:

  • Poliovirus 30 nm
  • Bacteria 5 - 10 μm
  • Fungi > 10 μm


EN 14126 - "Protective clothing against infective agents"

Since the micro-organisms differ a lot, it is not possible to define performance criteria on the basis of type of micro-organism. Therefore, the test methods specified in the standard focus on the medium containing the micro-organism, such as a liquid, an aerosol or a solid dust particle.

The tests are all penetration type of tests where the medium, containing a micro-organism, is applied to the clothing material and the penetration or resistance to penetration is measuered. These are the different tests performed:

  1. Penetration by synthetic blood
  2. Penetration by blood-borne pathogen
  3. Resistance to penetration by contaminated liquid aerosols
  4. Resistance to dry microbial penetration
  5. Wet bacterial penetration

The performance is rated in Classes 1-6 or 1-3, depending on which test method, where Class 6 and Class 3 are the highest/best result.

Suits that are approved to the EN 14126 standard are marked with the suffix "-B" e.g. type 1a-B. type 3-B.

  • Last updated 7/20/2018
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