As we all know there is a shortage of face masks in market during COVID-19 outbreak? Do you know why is this face mask useful?

So… Let’s talk about PPE




Basically PPE is one of the precautionary step to protect yourself from any of hazardous or biohazardous materials

If we talk about the PPE used in medical laboratories, it is the special clothing and other necessary wearings worn by the laboratory personnels in order to gain the protection against dangerous and infectious materials that they encounter in the laboratory.

These PPE create a protective barrier between the person and the hazardous materials and then avoid the contact with those harmful agents.

Why it is important for Laboratories ?

Medical laboratories are full of dangerous and hazardous agents including toxic chemicals, radiation, sharps, biological infectious materials and agents, splashes etc. Therefor, we can use PPE to prevent or control the spread of infections and to refrain from exposure to dangerous agents in order to protect the health of ourselves and the surroundings.

How do you select PPE ?


First assess the work bench to determine whether hazards are present and what types of infectious materials are there to deal with. Then, select the appropriate PPE that fits to you and which has been maintained in a corrective manner.

Examples for PPE ...

  • Face masks
  • Appropriate gloves
  • Floor length pants
  • Closed toed shoes
  • Face shields
  • Ear plugs
  • aprons/ gowns/ coats
  • Respirators
  • Eye Goggles Etc ….

Let’s talk briefly about several and common PPE use in medical laboratories.

1.Face masks

Several types of masks are available in the market which are vary in shape and size. We can wear masks to protect our mouth and nasal area from droplet transmitted disease agents and from aerosols. But as they are not a type of respirators, they do not provide protection against airborne diseases

2. Goggles/Face shields

They avoid the contact of splashes, spray of infectious fluids, hazardous vapors and flying particles with mucose membrane of eyes or nose and mouth. Goggles are superior than the eye glasses as goggles protect the surrounding area of the eye as well. But if you are dealing with Laser or uv light, specially made eyewears should be used. However all the goggles and face shields should not interfere with the function of the glasses that the laboratory personnel is dealing with.

3. Gloves

There are various types , depending on the work you are involved.(heat resistant/ powder free/ cold resistant etc) However you need to select the right type of gloves( depending on the chemical degradation, permission rate, breakthrough time etc) and also the right size that fit to your hand.



Respirators, available in the market are vary in size, shape and the protection it provides. If you wear a respirator which is filled enough to you, it will provide the protection not only from the droplets but also from the airborne infections as well. But if it is not fitted well, it is similar to that of face masks.

5. Gowns/Aprons/ Lab coats

Lab coats

They will help to protect your skin and minimize the exposure against the splashes, infections droplets, aberrations. Cuts, vapors etc.  But the correct size of gowns should be worn and sleeves should be fitted at the end.

6. Foot covers

It is recommended for people who are having danger of foot injuries due to hazardous spillages, slip hazards, objects piercing sole etc. It is recommended to wear closed toed shoes in medical laboratories

7. Hearing protection/ear plugs/muffs

These items can be used in laboratories where there is an exposure to excessive noises. However this can be rarely seen in medical testing laboratories.

How to remove PPE once you have used?

It is recommended to remove PPE according to the following order



3.Gown/lab coat/


5.Mask/ Respirator

Since gloves are contaminated heavily than other PPE, you should remove it first. And once you remove PPE, discard according to the infectious waste controlling guidelines. Reusable PPE should be immediately cleaned after each use and store them in a proper way.


Finally, wearing PPE does not eliminate the hazard. They should be properly fitted and maintained. Not only the PPE, but also the good hygiene is very important.

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