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Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a main source of protection for emergency and recovery workers.  Depending on the type of emergency which may include flooding, hurricanes, fire, electricity, structural collapse, falls, terrorism, earthquakes, tornadoes, extreme temperatures, diseases, among others. It is necessary to protect emergency response and recovery workers from physical, chemical and biological hazards. Routes of exposure include inhalation, dermal contact, ingestion or contact through mucous membranes. Therefore, main protective equipment includes respirators, eye protection, hearing protection and protective clothing. Depending on the hazard, the recommendations on the use of PPE change. Some examples of PPE may include Gas masks, gloves, overalls, boots, and googles.

Personal protective equipment is very important for any emergency responder. This webpage provides information concerning the proper use of respirators including publications referring to respirator approval for chemical warfare, protective equipment for structural collapse events, and selection of PPE. Other informational materials regarding the proper use of PPE under different conditions and situations are also available. The materials cover previous experiences with respirators and their selection, use of protective clothing to protect against biological agents, PPE for flood responders, infection control, and hearing protection.

Page last reviewed: November 30, 2018