Protective Clothing for Healthcare Professionals

ASTM International’s personal protective clothing and equipment committee (F23) has approved a new standard that will help improve the safety of protective clothing for healthcare professionals and others who come into contact with liquid drugs. 

The new standard (F3267) establishes design, performance, documentation, and labeling requirements and provides test methods for protective clothing used in preventing exposure to liquid chemotherapy and other liquid hazardous drugs.

“It cannot be assumed that ordinary gowns or protective clothing provide protection against chemotherapy and other hazardous drugs,” says member Jeffrey Stull, International Personnel Protection, Inc. “Repeated contact with even the smallest doses of these drugs without adequate barrier protection can have unintended and debilitating health effects.

According to Stull, the new standard fills an existing gap in uniformly specifying requirements for the additional protection properties needed for medical gowns and other protective clothing items used by healthcare workers, pharmacists, and drug manufacturers. 

“Specific testing approaches were established for measuring how materials can resist permeation of these drugs,” says Stull. “Additional requirements, such as design, strength, labeling criteria, that address the other features of gowns and clothing, are also included in the standard.”

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. JOIN ASTM

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