Conventional clothing as personal protective equipment (PPE)
View this video to learn more about which 'every-day' clothes may be suitable to use as PPE.
Some pesticide labels in some countries permit the use of conventional clothing as an acceptable alternative to purposefully made personal protective equipment. The option to use a long sleeved shirt and long trousers is based on the manufacturer’s detailed knowledge of its product’s toxicity and the knapsack sprayer users’ risk of exposure. In this example the label advises the ‘use of long sleeved shirts and long legged trousers’.
The garments used as PPE must only be used by one person,
must be in a reasonable condition and free from holes and tears and must be of the correct size to fit the operator. Both the shirt and trousers must only be used when spraying pesticides and only in those cases where the labels advise the user that it is permitted.
The shirts and trousers used as PPE should be used in addition to your normal work clothes. In hot and humid countries, your work clothes may be a T shirt and shorts over which your PPE of long sleeved shirt and trousers should be worn.
Long sleeved shirts and long legged trousers ideally should be made of a material that does not readily absorb liquids.
Some materials for example, are treated to repel liquid more effectively than others.
Select a shirt without pockets as the pocket may trap spilt liquids - or remove the pocket Wear the shirt outside of your trousers/jeans to cover any pocket openings on your trousers.
Ensure all buttons and zips on shirt and trousers are closed to minimise exposure. When spraying downwards, ensure your shirt sleeves are worn over the gloves
but are inside the glove when spraying laterally and upwards.
Wear your (non-absorbent) trouser leggings over your rubber boots to minimize spills getting onto your feet.
As with all PPE – but particularly with garments that are more likely to absorb rather than shed liquids – remove any contamination quickly.
If your clothing does become contaminated, stop spraying and as soon as possible, carefully remove your knapsack sprayer and remove the contaminated item.
Wash yourself using soap and preferably by showering - in clean water.
After use, these dedicated spraying clothes must be washed separately. Do not wash this clothing with any domestic washing.
Allow the clothing to dry
and store it in a ventilated locker located close to – but not in – your pesticide store.