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    Evaluation of Health Care Workers' Apparel Using Microbiological Methods

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    Health Care Workers are exposed to numerous biological hazards in the work place. This can occur in hospitals, care centers, laundry facilities, laboratories and other units dealing with the various aspects of health care. Some of these biological hazards can lead to death and the economic and emotional impact can be costly. This burden falls not only on the health care worker and individuals receiving these services but also on industry and government.

    There is a need to develop methods appropriate for evaluating protective wear against microbial as well as viral hazards. These hazards not only occur through fluid contamination like blood, serum but also through aerosol transmission.

    A method has been developed to evaluate the biobarrier properties of materials using either a bacterial spore or a bacteriophage. The indicator organism was aerosolized in an acrylic chamber. Filtration cups containing the testing material were exposed to the indicator organism consisting of B. subtilis var. niger spores. The materials were ranked by comparing the number of organisms that penetrated the material to the initial number exposed.


    protective clothing, health care workers, aerosoltransmission, microbial penetration

    Author Information:

    Placencia, AM
    Research Microbiologist, Research Group, U.S. Food and Drug Admin., Minneapolis, MN

    Peeler, JT
    Consultant, Oakton, VA

    Committee/Subcommittee: F23.40

    DOI: 10.1520/STP14060S