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8 Types of USP Approved PPE to Wear When Drug Compounding

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Know the types of footwear that are acceptable in a hazardous drug compounding environment. For example, avoid high heels, which can tear shoe covers. Use covers that are made from polyethylene-coated polypropylene or another laminate material and are disposable, skid-resistant and water-resistant. Provista offers covers from Novaplus®, Tronex, Welmed and other trusted brands.

Coveralls, also known as “bunny suits,” offer head-to-toe protection. Some of the more popular features include integrated shoe covers, thumb loops and a hood. The coveralls should be easy to put on and take off. The suits help minimize cross-contamination to adjacent rooms and other staff. Provista offers hazardous drug-resistant coveralls from Carter-Health.

Facial protection is required when handling hazardous drugs. Many of these drugs can irritate your eyes and mucous membranes. Wear a face mask that’s disposable and cleanroom grade. In some instances, a face shield can also be used to offer full facial protection. Provista carries masks from Acute Care Pharmaceuticals, Carter-Health and ISO-MED.

Gloves must be disposable, latex free and powder free because powder can absorb hazardous materials. Gloves can be sterile or non-sterile. Double gloving is required for hazardous drug compounding and administration. Gloves must be changed every 30 minutes or immediately if damaged. Provista contracts cover gloves from Novaplus, Medline and Kimberly-Clark.

Eye protection is needed along with a face mask to ensure full facial protection to guard against the risk posed by spills or splashes of hazardous drugs or hazardous drug waste materials. Eyeglasses alone or safety glasses without side shields are not adequate protection. Provista offers goggles from several companies, including Kimberly-Clark, Cardinal, Carter-Health and ISO-MED.

Long-sleeved seamless gowns must be disposable with tight-fitting elastic or knit-closed cuffs. Gowns must close in the back. Gowns worn in hazardous areas must not be worn in other areas. They should be changed immediately after a spill, or every two or three hours. Provista offers gowns made from Tronex, O&M Halyard and others.


Protection is available to cover the hair on the head and on the face. These covers can be placed over a beard, moustache and hair on top of the head. The covers are disposable and low-lint. Head protection covers the ears and forehead. Provista offers covers from companies such as Novaplus, Daxwell and others.


Anyone unpacking hazardous drugs that are not in plastic containers should wear a respirator for protection from spills or breaks during shipping. Surgical masks don’t offer adequate respiratory protection from drug exposure. Provista offers N-95, half, full and powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) respirators from Grainger.

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