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March 15, 2023

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New ASTM standard created to improve protective clothing for healthcare professionals

A new standard approved by ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) aims to protect healthcare professionals from hazardous liquid drugs.

ASTM International’s personal protective clothing and equipment committee recently approved a new standard.

Credit: Alamy Stock

It aims to improve the safety of protective clothing for those who come into contact with liquid drugs through new design, increased performance, improved documentation and labeling requirements.

It also provides test methods for protective clothing used in preventing exposure to liquid chemotherapy and other liquid hazardous drugs.

ASTM member Jeffrey Stull, International Personnel Protection, Inc, said: “It cannot be assumed that ordinary gowns or protective clothing provide protection against chemotherapy and other hazardous drugs.

“Repeated contact with even the smallest doses of these drugs without adequate barrier protection can have unintended and debilitating health effects.

“Specific testing approaches were established for measuring how materials can resist permeation of these drugs.

“Additional requirements, such as design, strength, labeling criteria, that address the other features of gowns and clothing, are also included in the standard.”

 He believes the new standard fills an existing gap in specifying requirements for the additional protection properties needed for medical gowns and other protective clothing items used by healthcare workers, pharmacists, and drug manufacturers. 

 ASTM has over 12,000 global standards adhered to by over 30,000 volunteer members. 

This latest standard directly relates to the third United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on good health and well-being, according to ASTM International.

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