Personal protective equipment was one time a reserve for the medical practitioners. Most people never gave them a thought. Until the novel coronavirus hit the world and everything had to change. The world suddenly became more health-conscious with PPEs taking over from the regular clothing.
While the PPEs are great for keeping healthy, they have an environmental impact. Most of the users don’t understand how to deal with them after use. They would throw them away like any other dirt. Given most are not degradable, they end up harming the environment.
The primary use of PPEs is due to their obscurity. They protect health workers and the sick from catching the environment. Still, the virus remains lurking on the surfaces. They might still be hazardous when mishandled. That is where this guide comes in.
This article discusses ways to handle PPEs. It has everything from purchase and use. It also discusses ways to dispose of them safely.
Purchasing the PPEs
Where you get the PPE supplies is as important as how you take care of them. You won’t have any business wearing the PPE in the first if you are not sure of the legitimacy. The only way to get a genuine PPE is when you find one from an equally legitimate supplier.
Look into the history of the supplier before you purchase from them. Look for a manufacturer who has been in the trade for a long time. The covid-19 season has led to the rise of several PPS dealers. Most of the ones coming up don’t have the best of quality. Most are made in a hurry looking to supply the current market.
Getting your supplies from a reputable also means having a guide. After operating for some time, the facility can guide you on usage, disposing, and caring. Also Read – Tips And Tricks For Starting Your Business at University
How to Remove PPEs
PPEs are different from the regular clothing you remove as you like. The World Health Organization provides a step-by-step guide on how to remove and dispose of them. It involves:
1. Preparing the environment
PPEs are volatile materials that require a designated place for removal. Only remove them in the presence of a trained professional. The professional would, in most cases, provide a sanitized environment for that.
Place the reusable and non-reusable items in different containers. Wash your hands as you prepare to start the process.
2. Undress the apron
The apron is the first item to go when removing the PPE. Remove the apron by tearing it off at the neck, then roll down. Untie the back, then roll it forward. Ensure your hands are not contaminated in the process.
Give your hands the extra protection by washing them next. You can then remove the first layer of gloves. Rewash your hands after removing the gloves.
3. Removing the headgear
Remove the headgear by pushing it from the bottom of the hood at the back. You then roll it upwards and remove it slowly. Dispose of the gear and rewash hands.
4. Removing the gown
With the apron and the gear gone, it’s time to remove the gown. Remove the gown from the back after untying the knot. You then pull it back from rolling to the front and dispose of it safely.
5. Removing eye protection
Remove the eye protection from behind, followed by the mask. Hold the mask from behind, then raise the string above your head. After the face mask, you can then remove the boots. After which you can remove the gloves.
The whole process involves performing hand hygiene at every point. Otherwise, you won’t be wearing the PPEs in the first place. Suggested – All You Need to Know About Cancelled Cheque
Disposing of the PPEs
Disposing of the PPEs is as important as their role in keeping one healthy. Improper disposal can be hazardous to other people and the environment.
Even though there are various types of PPEs, there are limited disposal options. These are;
1. Standard disposal
The recent use of PPEs by coronavirus patients and health officials has given them a new dimension. Most people now associate them with deadly features. They have also been used by the health official, managing other viral diseases like Ebola.
What most people fail to notice is that there are several parts to the PPEs. Some are the regular ones like earplugs, hardhats or gloves and similar items. These items are easy to dispose of.
You have to dismantle or destroy them first. This helps in avoiding the possibility of double use. Using the equipment more than once comes with a significant risk of injury. Afterward, you can then throw them away like the other garbage.
This relieves most businesses that have been worried about how to dispose of the PPEs. It is an easy and straightforward endeavor. Only avoid putting them in a recycling bin. They are not suitable for recycling at any level.
2. Contaminated PPE disposal
PPEs used in medical facilities require better disposal practices than the ones from a general business. The ones from hospitals are contaminated as the infected population uses them. They are also exposed to acids, biological contaminations, and other chemicals. They are generally made to protect the wearer from harmful substances.
Disposing of the PPEs requires the wearer to observe the provisions by the Center for Diseases Control. Currently, they don’t provide for any extra disinfection before disposal. Still, you have to ensure you don’t release them in a place where they could harm anyone.
The specific disposal method depends on the contamination exposure. For example, standard contaminations like lead require first-round cleaning before disposal. This helps reduce its impacts on the environment. Extremely hazardous contaminants come with specific disposal methods.
PPE disposal is one of the issues the world will grapple with post-coronavirus. The world is already facing a climatic change issue. Most countries are struggling to contain global warming effects. With the population using PPEs, unlike never before, management might be a challenge.
The CDC and WHO already have the PPE disposal procedures in place. Use these tips on how best to dispose of the protection equipment. It is the only way to ensure the environment safely and also not exposing others.