Protection from the risk of contact with… infectious, biological, and hazardous materials.

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The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has set the standards for Emergency Personnel Protective clothing (PPE) including gloves. SAFECARE offers UniSeal® Nitrile Gloves, who working closely in accordance with NFPA standards, manufactures nitrile gloves specifically for emergency personnel.

NFPA logo NFPA 1999 (2018 Edition) certified. Certification on each box.

Excerpts from current NFPA logo NFPA 1999 (2018 Edition).

Standard on Protective Clothing for Emergency Medical Operations 2018 Edition

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NFPA® 1999 Standard on Protective Clothing for Emergency Medical Operations 2018 Edition

5.10 This standard was developed to address protective garments that protect persons providing emergency medical care against exposure to liquid borne pathogens during emergency medical operations. NFPA 1999 defines minimum performance for protective clothing as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Final Rule (29 CFR 1910.1030) Protecting Health Care Workers from Occupational Exposure to Blood borne Pathogens. The Final Rule states: “When there is occupational exposure, the employer shall provide at no cost to the employee, appropriate personal protective equipment, such as, but not limited to, gloves. Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be considered ‘appropriate’ only if it does not permit blood or other potential infectious materials to pass through to or reach the employee’s work clothes, street clothes, undergarments, skin, eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes under normal conditions of use and for the duration of time which the protective equipment will be used.” NFPA 1999 offers specific performance criteria that involve exposing protective clothing materials to surrogate virus challenge utilizing a specific time and pressure protocol. This procedure has been documented to discriminate between current protective clothing materials and to correlate with visual penetration results that are obtained with a human factors evaluation. Each type of clothing must resist penetration to blood-borne pathogens as determined by this test.

Emergency medical work gloves will provide the barrier protection from blood and liquid-borne pathogens that all EMS PPE provides, and a higher level of physical protection for incidents where rough or sharp surfaces could be contacted, such as during extrication operations. EMS PPE cleaning/ utility gloves are single-use items to protect wearers during cleaning and decontamination of EMS equipment. The third (2003) edition of NFPA 1999 was acted on by the NFPA membership at the November Association meeting.

Three different types of gloves are specified by the standard including a single-use examination glove, a single-use but heavier cleaning glove and a multiple-use work glove. The workhorse product is the examination glove, which is like any other medical glove. But NFPA 1999 (2018 Edition) establishes robust criteria for glove performance that go beyond normal healthcare industry standards. These include a whole glove viral penetration test, minimum dexterity, and the only glove industry standard for protein levels in the glove material. Cleaning/utility gloves, as the name implies, are intended for situations where a more physically protective glove is needed. These are heavier and must meet certain physical requirements for puncture, cut and abrasion resistance in addition to maintaining integrity after contact with normal cleaning solvents (e.g., bleach and hydrogen peroxide), but trade off some dexterity as compared with examination gloves. The category of work gloves is really intended for a situation where there are severe physical hazards present, such as vehicle victim extrication and rescue events. These gloves are also expected to be reusable, so they are subject to a wide range of tests that demonstrate physical hazard resistance and durability.