hazardous + material
DEA agents wearing Level B hazmat suits. (US Drug Enforcement Agency/Wikipedia)
According to the US Department of Homeland Security, a hazmat suit protects the wearer from chemical, biological, or nuclear materials as well as high temperatures. Depending on what kind of hazardous material the wearer is dealing with, the suit might be different. DHEA defines four different levels of protection (A, B, C, and D), while there are six levels in Europe (1 through 6). You can read all about the ratings here.
Somehow, calling it a “hazmat suit” sounds cooler than “hazardous material suit,” doesn’t it?
Forensic technicians wear similar gear when they’re in the field collecting evidence. Theirs are designed to prevent contaminating a crime scene. So it’s not like the CSI: shows, all of which have left the air (I know, there’s CSI: Cyber, but the types of evidence they collect are all computer-related), where the female technicians go bopping around crime scenes in tight clothes and high heels. That really bothered Mary.