Applied Ergonomics, Volume 46, Part A, January 2015, Pages 44–53
American standard ASTM F2732 estimates the lowest environmental temperature for thermal comfort for cold weather protective clothing. International standard ISO 11079 serves the same purpose but expresses cold stress in terms of required clothing insulation for a given cold climate. The objective of this study was to validate and compare the temperature ratings using human subject tests at two levels of metabolic rates (2 and 4 MET corresponding to 116.4 and 232.8 W/m2). Nine young and healthy male subjects participated in the cold exposure at 3.4 and −30.6 °C. The results showed that both standards predict similar temperature ratings for an intrinsic clothing insulation of 1.89 clo and for 2 MET activity. The predicted temperature rating for 2 MET activity is consistent with test subjects' thermophysiological responses, perceived thermal sensation and thermal comfort. For 4 MET activity, however, the whole body responses were on the cold side, particularly the responses of the extremities. ASTM F2732 is also limited due to its omission and simplification of three climatic variables (air velocity, radiant temperature and relative humidity) and exposure time in the cold which are of practical importance.