Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential for you to use to stay protected during a pandemic. Depending on the equipment you are using, it can protect you from vapors, gases, and particulates from hazardous substance response activities that can put your health at risk. However, did you know there are different levels of personal protective equipment? The EPA has a list of four levels, with each level designating a certain level of protection.
The four levels go from highest amount of protection to lowest, with Level A being the greatest amount of protection you can get. Level A basically consists of products like a Hazmat suit because it requires the best clothing that can protect your skin, lungs, and eyes. Clothing such as chemical resistant gloves, a totally encapsulated vapor suite and a self-contained breathing apparatus are all considered Level A personal protective equipment.
Level B is slightly under Level A but still requires you to wear the highest level of respiratory protection like the self-contained breathing apparatus. Levels of hazardous gases and vapors are not as high as in Level A in this situation, so the full Hazmat suit is not required. But face shields and chemical resistant clothing are still recommended.
On the lower end of personal protective equipment there are Levels C and B. Level C personal protective equipment is required when certain airborne substances are known to be in the area. During this case, Level C requires you to use air purifying respirators. Level D is the minimum protection required. At this level are equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, and face shields.
Each level is important in its own way. Depending on the situation, you may need a piece of equipment from a certain level.
For more information on levels of personal protective equipment, click here.
Article written by William Graves.