Gloves: Personal Protective Equipment
The cleanliness of sterile clothing is an important consideration in order to prevent the clothing itself to become a source of contamination. For example, sterile gloves that have been washed in de-ionised water, cleanroom packed, sterile validated and specified for low endotoxin levels can help lower the risk of particle, microbiological and endotoxin contamination.
Sterile apparel that is laundered, cleanroom packed in individual vacuum packaging, double-bagged and provided with periodic sterile validation will also contribute to lower contamination risks. Sterile gloves made from synthetic materials are beneficial because they can eliminate the risk of contaminating the final product with rubber latex proteins, which can be a problem for patients with latex allergies.
Another point to keep in mind is the barrier performance of the clothing. Continuous improvement can come from better control or elimination of variability in attributes that impact barrier performance. For example, disposable apparel eliminates the risk of variability in filtration efficiency and material strength that may come from re-wearing, re-washing and re-sterilizing apparel many times and over a long period of time. Sterile apparel made from stronger materials and sterile gloves with a higher quality film formation will be more resistant to breakage and are more likely to be free from any pinhole type defects.
As well as protecting the process from contamination, sterile clothing should also protect the wearer from the health and safety risks presented by chemicals. Sterile gloves tested to show longer resistance times to permeation by cytotoxic chemicals and sterile clothing certified to provide protection against chemical splashes can contribute to better protection for the wearer. There are also other ways to protect wearers from health and safety risks. For example, sterile clothing that is bio-compatible can mitigate the risk of the clothing causing irritation to the wearer, and sterile gloves that are free from natural rubber latex will eliminate the risk of latex allergies.