Biosafety Manual

24 Biosafety Manual Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Appropriate PPE is chosen by considering the potential routes of exposure that need to be protected to prevent exposure and infection. It is essential that PPE be removed before leaving the room where biohazardous materials are used. PPE must never be taken home. PPE is removed in a manner that minimizes personal contamination. It should be disposed of or decontaminated in the work area where it is used. Please refer to the Laboratory Safety Manual for more information regarding PPE. Lab Coats and Uniforms Lab coats, scrub suits, gowns, and closed-toe shoes prevent biohazardous materials from reaching skin and, more importantly, any cuts, dermatitis, etc. that may be present. They prevent biohazardous materials from contaminating street clothing. They also prevent the normal flora present on the skin from contaminating laboratory cultures. • At minimum, a long-sleeved lab coat worn over clothing and closed-toe shoes must be worn in any laboratory. Long sleeves minimize contamination of skin and street clothes and reduce shedding of microorganisms from the skin. Closed-toe shoes protect the feet from spills and injuries from dropped sharps. • Lab coats must remain in the laboratory when personnel leave the laboratory. This keeps any contamination on the lab coat in the laboratory instead of spreading it to other work areas or homes. • PPE that is sent for commercial laundering, such as lab coats, must be properly contained and labeled. A proper label must have the name of the biological agent of potential exposure, type of decontamination used, and the date when it was last used. • Elastic-cuffed lab coats help prevent spills that can be caused by catching a loose cuff on laboratory equipment. When working with biohazardous materials inside a biosafety cabinet, elastic cuffs or double gloving (second pair over cuff) prevent contaminated air from being blown up the lab coat sleeve onto clothing. Gloves Gloves prevent exposure of the skin and any cuts, dermatitis, etc. that may be present, to biohazardous materials. • Both latex and nitrile disposable gloves will prevent exposure