Personal protection equipment or PPE kit is an essential safety clothing for the employees in factory or healthcare settings. PPE kits can range from a simple N95 mask to full-body coveralls or hazmat suits. In some cases, PPE kits are reusable and require utmost care and sterility for every use, while in other cases, PPE kits are disposable after one-time use. Irrespective of whether you dispose of the PPE clothing after one-time use or many-time use, it is important to ensure that PPE kit disposal is done properly.

General PPE Disposal

When Personal Protection Equipment disposal time comes, many people throw away PPE kits without too much disposal processing. In this process, smaller items like shoe covers, gloves, masks etc. should be properly dismantled or destroyed so that someone else does not use them. Using disposed or damaged PPE kit can cause serious harm and leave a huge scope for injury risk.

Contaminated PPE Disposal

Personal protection equipment is used by healthcare or factory workers for personal safety and protection from physical, chemical, or biological hazards. The PPE clothing is designed to keep hazardous substances at bay, away from the mouth, eyes, nose, and skin of the person wearing PPE. At the time of PPE disposal, it is therefore important to devise strategies ensuring minimal or no release of the contaminants on the PPE clothing.

Method of disposal for PPE kits will depend on the related industry and work, as these factors will largely govern the nature of contaminants. For standard contaminants likelead, the PPE must be cleaned for heavy metal removal before disposal, while for biohazards, UV sterilization of the PPE is important before3 disposal. After optimized cleaning, PPE kits will be dismantled and disposed, with strategies that avoid groundwater contact and contamination. It is therefore very important to understand the workplace and nature of contaminants before devising strategies of PPE disposal along with safety management board members in every company.

PPE Kit Disposal Study in India

In an Indian study, a group of CSIR-NEERI scientists has suggested on-site incineration of PPE kits to reduce the risk of contamination and emissions. The study was a comparison between three disposal methods— centralized incineration, decentralized incineration, and landfills. As per the reports, decentralized or on-site incineration will reduce multiple contact points of PPE handling as centralized incineration or landfill involves more people and pollution as there is a chain of transport for discarded PPE.

PPE kit disposal is an essential step towards a clean environment and reducing plastic pollution. Deep burial and incineration are the most common trusted methods of PPE disposal, as suggested by experts, but the most important factor is ensuring safe disposal. For more info on PPE kit disposal, contact Advancells group at info@advancells.com