Hazmat Suit

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If you want a good idea if something dangerous is up, probably involving Applied Phlebotinum, look for workers wearing Hazmat Suits.

For dramatic reasons, this may correspond with Malevolent Masked Men or Faceless Goons in visual media. On the other hand, with sympathetic characters, it often turns out that In hazardous environments, everyone can see your face.

In Real Life, not really so sexy as it seems. A Level A Hazmat suit is heavy, clumsy, hot, and uncomfortable. The same properties that see to it that nothing outside can get in also see to it that nothing inside can get out, which includes the wearer's sweat and body odor. Plus there's the fact that you're wearing it because something nearby is likely to kill you.

Then there's the thing to the left, which is a heat resistant suit worn when working around things that are excessively hot, such as forest fires and iron smelters. You're wearing it because otherwise you'd be turned into a crispy critter in minutes. Even with it, though, you feel like you're in a sauna while wrapped in an unusually stiff duvet, oven mitts, and a hockey helmet.[1]

Hazmat or NBC protection is often included in Powered Armor. See also Phlebotinum Handling Equipment and Gas Mask Mooks.

Examples of Hazmat Suit include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Misato wears an anti-radiation suit when she tries to stop Jet Alone's nuclear reactor manually
  • Used as part of The Reveal in the manga, Cage of Eden, where the heroes find a long abandoned research facility complete with broken People Jars, the DNA samples collected from every animal in the world in cultivation centers, models of the former extinct animals they had to fight the first time they crash landed on the mysterious island, and the aforementioned hazmat suits hanging around, which clues them that the everything on the island was the result of a secret experiment gone wrong.
  • Darker than Black shows the field researcher teams in the Hell's Gate wearing these. Not that it helped much, but at least very lucky ones survived... and even weren't visibly affected. Most of sniffing around is done via remotely controlled robots, and even this involves visions highly disturbing to the operators.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Marvel Comics's A.I.M. uniforms are basically Hazmat suits.
  • In Destination Moon, Tintin, Captain Haddock and Wolff put on protective suits so they can view the atomic pile. Professor Calculus also ordered a dog-sized suit made for Snowy to wear so he can go with them, but Snowy keeps tripping on the sleeves because the suit is too big for him. They also forget to take the suit off Snowy afterwards.
  • The Avengers Academy student appropriately named 'Hazmat' wears one, though in her case, it's to protect everyone else from her own toxicity.

Fan Fiction[edit | hide]

Film[edit | hide]

  • The end of Resident Evil
  • The CDA in Monsters, Inc. wears hazmat suits.
  • The Andromeda Strain (1971): when Dr. Stone and Dr Hall investigate the town of Piedmont, they wear sealed suits to protect them against the title disease.
  • In Dr. No, the title character and his henchmen wear radiation suits while operating the nuclear reactor. James Bond wears one too while Dressing as the Enemy.
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery: in a Shout-Out to Dr. No, Dr. Evil wears a radiation suit while loading the nuclear bomb into the subterranean drill.
  • Back to The Future: Marty dons a radiation suit to handle the plutonium fuel for the DeLorean, and wears it during his trip into the past.
  • All the scientists in ET the Extraterrestrial wear these to study the titular alien.
  • Worn in Outbreak.
  • Both scientists and soldiers wear these in the 1973 version of The Crazies.
  • Government epidemiologists wear these in REC and its American remake, Quarantine.
  • The "Alien Autopsy" film depicts men in hazmat suits dissecting an alien cadaver. The suits have no air filters or air supply.
  • Part of the problem the crew of K-19: The Widowmaker had was that they had been issued suits rated for chemical hazards, not radioactive ones.
    • Which are, ironically, basically the same thing even now (at most the antirad suits will have a polythene liner protecting from neutrons), and certainly were exactly same in The Sixties. That's because nothing short of a solid lead wall could protect a human from the radiation of the live nuclear reactor, wearing which on oneself would've been just a little bit impractical. Thus antirad suits mainly concentrate on preventing the contact with the loose radioactive material.
  • Cat-Women of the Moon: the hero dons a suit to combat a coolant leak, after the obligatory meteor shower damages their nuclear-powered Retro Rocket.
  • Contagion, naturally.
  • Hazmats are especially popular in movies where scientists are handling deadly chemicals that are inevitably released outside containment and cause the Zombie Apocalypse. Case in point is the movie, Return Of The Living Dead 3, where hazmat suits prove to be useless to aggressive zombie attack.
  • Hazmat suits are worn by Royalton's workers when they install a inner-positive transponder in Speed Racer, and, for some reason, their little dog too.
  • The obscure cult film Static has a scene where the main character visits his Crazy Survivalist uncle's house on Christmas, only to find the entire family wearing hazmat suits.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Dean Koontz's Phantoms: when the military shows up to find out what happened to the town of Snowfield, they wear pressurized suits because they think the problem may be caused by chemical/biological warfare. The suits don't help them a bit against the Eldritch Abomination that's the real cause.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • There's a joke about this in an episode of Friends, when they're on the set of Outbreak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan. A bunch of actors are standing around in hazmat suits, and Chandler asks, "Are you guys in the movie, or are you just really paranoid?"
  • Various characters wear them in The Pretender episodes "A Virus Among Us" and "Hazards".
  • The CDC wear some in an episode of House when they think a patient has small pox.
  • Stargate Atlantis has the crew having access to these suits. This particularly applies when a dangerous infection breaks out and the city's operating system begins to lockdown the city on it's own. However, two of the characters put on hazmat suits and the city somehow detects this and opens up doors for them as useful personnel for the crisis.
  • During one sketch in Jackass, which involves eating the ingredients for an omelette, vomiting them into a pan, and then cooking it, Johnny Knoxville wears a hazmat suit.
  • CSI used them in the episode "Crow's Feet", and at least one other time.
    • CSI: NY used them in an episode involving a man who killed his wife and contaminated other people with a radioactive book.
  • All the incarnations of The Stand have them, but aside from the comics, they're most prominent in the TV film.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Shadowrun 2nd Edition had both chemsuits (regular sealed suits) and military X-E suits which were needed to protect against Seven-7 nerve gas.
    • In the adventure Silver Angel the Player Characters could sneak into a facility by dressing themselves in "hazard suits" and pretending to be hazardous materials transporters.
  • Champions
    • In the adventure "What Rough Beast", the characters can find and use radiation suits against the deadly radiation field given off by the monster.
    • Supplement PRIMUS and DEMON. PRIMUS agents have radiation suits available.
  • GURPS has NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) suits.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Terminator Armors, the most powerful and durable suit of Power Armor ever developed by the Imperium of Man, is a hybrid of "standard" Power Armor with a hazmat suit of the variety used for maintenance work inside plasma reactors, while the reactor's running at full capacity, or on "dirty" orbits under constant bombardment of hypervelocity dust.
    • Rogue Trader has stats fo one of such heavy suits - "Augmetic Engine-Plate".
      • As well as Thermal Armor suits for less extreme conditions, like fire and smoke, or spaceship heatsinks.
    • Dark Heresy has Volcanis Shroud made for work in magma-heated forges and was adopted in various heavy industrial settlements. As such, it comes with rebreather and vision system. Gives the same level of protection, but is bulkier and against heat based or corrosive attacks as good as Stormtrooper carapace or commercial versions of Power Armor.
      • Hospitaller Carapace that Space Nun medics wear, aside of being fairly good armor, is designed to protect from diseases and toxins and can be sealed when needed.
      • The Vile Savants from are daemonic entities that take the form of a hazmat suit filled to the brim with pestilent filth and evil, diseased maggots. They fight with rusty, contaminated surgical equipment, and their speech sounds like distorted medical chatter punctuated by screams and moans of pain and horror.
      • There are also hostile environment suits. Environmental body gloves protect from variety of less than immediately lethal, but still extreme conditions from desert to arctic sea (they include water recyclers and air tanks); physical protection is marginal (on the level of gang leathers). Wind Armor is a hard suit intended to protect from hurricane winds and dust storms of "sandblasts you to the bone in half a minute" strength. Aside of metallo-ceramic plating, it involves design tweaking turbulence so that it's easier to move against lighter winds and withstand stronger ones, has built-in heavy air filters and (in case of being buried) 3 hours of internal air supply, plus communication gear. As a side effect, it gives overall protection equal to common types of light body armor.

Toys[edit | hide]

  • Playmobil, creators of small figures in roles varying from SWAT cop to a fairy and unicorn, once released a HAZMAT Crew playset. You don't get this kind of grim realism from LEGO.
    • Actually, you do, just cuter and without the toxic waste.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Left 4 Dead 2: one type of Uncommon Infected wears Hazmat Suit, which protects the Infected from fire.
  • Subverted with Half Life's iconic H.E.V. suit; initially presented as a hazmat suit, it's actually more of a Powered Armor. Cue WMG over whether it's simply overengineered for its intended purpose or Black Mesa deliberately designed it for the military.
    • It's even referenced by the G-man before his hibernation.

G-man: Gordan Freeman, in the flesh - or rather in the hazard suit. I took the liberty of relieving you of your weapons. Most of them were government property. As for the suit I think you earned it.

    • For the military (the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit, at least) they made a compatible variant with slightly different functionality -- the PCV.
  • You can find and buy a few hazmat suits in the Fallout series, as well as finding them on dead researchers.
  • Saints Row 2 had a scene where a guy was denying a leak in the nuclear power plant, while wearing a suit
  • You can find them in Doom and its sequels. They allow you to walk through toxic waste without any harm for a limited time.
  • The concept exists in the Resident Evil games, but it's never used much.
    • A note in the first game indicates that such suits were worn briefly after the start of the outbreak.
    • Suits can be seen hanging up in laboratories in the Outbreak and Dead Aim spin-offs and in Code: Veronica.
    • A researcher in a hazmat suit is brutally smashed against unbreakable glass in Code: Veronica.
    • One hazmat zombie appears in Dead Aim.
  • The S.I.N. scientists in the background of the Street Fighter IV Secret Laboratory and Crumbling Laboratory levels wear hazmat suits. They seem more focused at cheering on the fighters than they are at actually keeping the laboratory working.
  • STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl has a few of these, worn by scientists and player characters who expect to go into high-radiation areas. Even most regular kinds of armor has some characteristics of this, and given the environmental hazards of The Zone, it is a significant factor in choosing what kind of protection to wear.
  • Dead Space has the 'RIG', a Powered Armor suit that protects against hazardous gases, vacuum and undead co-workers. It also features build in gravity boots and a holographic projector.
    • Unfortunately the sequels suits have an embarrassing weakness ... they can be breached by a crazy person holding a screwdriver.
  • One level in Call of Duty Black Ops consists of a shootout in a town covered in clouds of a chemical agent, so everyone's wearing one of these even while trying to kill each other. Visibility is next to nil, your vision is warped by your suit's faceplate, and while the rest of the game uses Regenerating Health, your suit can only take a finite amount of damage before failing.
  • Deus Ex offers them. Alas, the one in the tutorial doesn't work without a patch.
  • These show up in the Marathon Infinity scenario Rubicon. Their appearance is one of the first clues we get that the work the Dangi Corp. is involved in might not be all beneficial to mankind.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • One Homestar Runner cartoon has the Poopsmith wearing a hazmat suit with the words "Has Matt?" on it.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "The Cutie Pox", upon learning of a case of the titular disease, some citizens of Ponyville are quick to clad themselves in these (complete with a radiation warning symbol over the wearer's cutie mark).
  • Done in Courage the Cowardly Dog creator John R. Dilworth's early cartoon, "Dirty Birdy", where one of the Amusing Injuries done on the mooning cross-eyed bird by the impatient blue cat is put on a hazmat suit and dunk him in a vat of radioactive green waste which causes him to disappear. He got better of course.
  • An episode of Tiny Toon Adventures had a group of villagers besieged by Wile E. Coyote Expy bandits, before the timely arrival of Buster and his friends. One of the punishments dished out on the dastardly bunch is giving them a Fire-Breathing Diner of chili so spicy that one of the villagers serving it wears a hazmat suit to exaggerate the effect.
  • Worn by Sid in Hey Arnold! when he develops an excessive fear of germs after watching a hygiene film.
  • Worn by Homer Simpson in The Simpsons from time to time as part of his job as a safety inspector in Mr. Burn's nuclear power plant. This is seen in the old and new intro theme.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Probably the earliest example of a Hazmat Suit was the Plague Doctor outfit worn in Medieval Europe during Black Death epidemics. It consisted of thick leather gloves and boots, heavy oilcloth cloak and pants covering the whole body, and the iconic "bird-man" mask which gave rise to one of the most popular Venetian masks around, the eponymous medico della peste. The mask included the goggles covering the eyes and aromatic herbs in the beak, that supposedly ward off the plague "miasma" and certainly masked the stench of decaying bodies and leaking buboes of the patients. Apparently, these worked quite well.
    • Virtually none of the user's skin was exposed while wearing it, so the risk of being bitten by plague-carrying fleas was much lower.
  • Ironically, asbestos firesuits turned out to be hazardous in themselves as the very material protecting firefighters threatened to kill them in the longer term with incurable and deadly abesteosis.
  1. Except when it is equipped with a cooling system, in which case you fell like you're wrapped in a cold stiff duvet, oven mitts and a hockey helmet. And have to lug a thick hose/cable or a heavy backpack around.