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Tyvek is a synthetic substance made of high-density polyethylene, which makes it very strong yet it can be easily cut with common scissors making it flexible for different uses. Another important feature is its ability to allow water vapor to pass through it while still preventing liquid water from penetrating its surface. If you look quickly at its surface, it appears to be made of paper. In fact, you can even write or print on it, which is why it's been used by the U.S. Postal Service for priority envelopes and its even been used for vehicle driver's licenses in the past.
Tyvek suits (normally pure white) are very effective in lower risk protective clothes situations, like auto and machine mechanics, painters, insulation installers, and clean room workers. Medical workers needing lab coats, aprons, hoods, and shoe covers that are lightweight and usually disposable often use Tyvek. For medical purposes, receiving the excellent light hazard protection offered by Tyvek suits combined with its disposability to ensure that pathogens are not transferred to others is a perfect combination for safety clothing.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|