Tempshield (CSA CSM) has released a new blog post in which they detail strategies to minimize the risk of communicating COVID-19 via personal protective equipment (PPE):
Whether mitigating the risk of COVID-19, Norovirus or the common flu, it’s vital that researchers and other front-line workers can avoid infection while doing their jobs. As such, proper care and cleaning of cryogenic gloves, cryogenic protection, face shields and other personal protective equipment (PPE) cannot be overlooked. The purpose of this blog article is to outline steps you can take that (when combined with manufacturer-provided care recommendations) can help minimize risk while maintaining productivity.
PPE Cleaning and Care
Carry Personalized PPE if Possible
Considering variables such as budget and product availability, this may not always be possible. But when adequate supplies of PPE are available for all workers, take steps to ensure every staff member is fully equipped. Sharing PPE greatly increases the risk of one worker infecting others.
Isolate Equipment if Contamination Is Suspected
Depending on the surface material, the COVID-19 virus can live for one to three days. If you suspect that an item of protective gear, such as a cryogenic glove or apron, has been in contact with an infected individual, immediately cease use of that garment and keep it separate from people and other equipment for a minimum of 24 hours—ideally 72 hours.
Regularly Launder Protective Garments
To minimize the risk of infection, it’s important to regularly launder gloves, aprons, shoe covers and other protective garments. Strictly follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, using the warmest recommended water temperature, and—if applicable—highest recommended dryer heat setting.
Routinely Spray and Wipe Down Polycarbonate Face Shields
Considering that a face shield sits inches from the user’s mouth and nose, it is particularly susceptible to contamination. Unfortunately, polycarbonate can also be easily scratched. Before attempting to clean a face shield, consult the manufacturer for recommended cleaning instructions. If none are available, lukewarm water and mild dish soap are typically safe. Wipe using a clean cotton or microfiber cloth. Never use paper towels, which can cause scratching, or household cleaning products such as glass cleaner and isopropanol alcohol, which can permanently damage the polycarbonate and/or protective coatings.
Routinely Inspect and Replace Worn Items
Under heavy, daily use, various protective items can become worn and lose their ability to provide protection. On a regular basis, check for abrasions, tears, holes and other damage that could impact performance, especially with cryogenic gloves and other cryogenic PPE. If found, replace the item immediately.
Discard Disposable Face Masks, Goggles, and Face Shields after Use
Surgical masks, N95 respirators and equipment like disposable face shields and goggles are not intended to be worn more than once. This is because they lose their effectiveness after a single use. After you are done wearing one of these items, dispose of it properly and grab a fresh one the next time you require protection.
We hope you found these care and cleaning tips useful. For cryogenic protection backed by 40 years of proven performance, look to Tempshield® (CSA CSM).