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Personal Protective Equipment 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is provided at no cost to affected personnel and used whenever the potential for occupational exposure exists. In most instances, the baseline personal protective equipment consists of a lab coat, gloves, and eye protection.

In addition to understanding the appropriate uses of various types of PPE, it is equally important to realize that all PPE items have limitations that should be considered in making a selection.

The following shall be worn at all times when working with radioactive materials:

Gloves – always inspect for holes and tears before donning. They are subject to losing their “barrier protection” quality with prolonged use or as the result of exposure to laboratory chemicals.  Change gloves frequently during prolonged operations and as soon as possible if they become torn, or contaminated.  Wear two pairs of gloves – GLOVES MUST NOT BE WORN OUTSIDE OF THE LABORATORY.

Latex allergies-Approximately 8% of health care workers have been sensitized to latex rubber proteins or the chemicals used in manufacturing the gloves.  EH&S can provide information on substitutes for latex gloves that provide the same level of barrier protection as latex without putting the wearer at risk for sensitization.  Always use non-powdered gloves regardless of the glove material used. Latex proteins adsorbed onto airborne powder increase the risk of sensitization and can exacerbate pre-existing allergic symptoms.

Laboratory coats-Laboratory coats are not to be worn outside of the laboratory if they have been used while working with any radioactivity, chemical, or pathogen.

Eye protection-Safety glasses with side shields and brow bars are the minimum eye protection for handling blood or other potentially infectious materials. They do not protect from large splashes.

When working with x-ray generating equipment, it may be necessary to use additional PPE including lead aprons and glasses.  Please contact Radiation Safety for further information.

It is the responsibility of the department or supervisor to ensure that appropriate PPE is available at all times.