Biological Protection (B)
Garments that provide both total and partial protection of the body in environments (workplaces or elsewhere) where a risk assessment has revealed the presence of and possibility of skin coming into contact with hazardous biological agents (title VIII Legislative Decree 626/94) such as viruses, bacteria, funguses, etc.
Current technical standards combine specifications for protection against biohazards with those set forth for protection against hazardous chemical agents, according to the various classifications.
The risks arising from exposure to hazardous “biological agents” (micro-organisms or cell cultures that could cause infection, allergies or intoxication) are defined according to the manner in which the agents themselves could affect the person exposed, namely:
• by direct contact with skin
• by ingestion
• by inhalation (through breathing passages)
Safeguarding a person against exposure to “hazardous” biological agents may entail protecting:
• the eyes,
• breathing passages,
• entire body surface in direct correlation with the operating procedures and type of exposure.
The penetration of biological agents into the human body by wet contact is considered the prevalent risk in health care settings.
This is also taking into account the type of micro-organisms most commonly involved: the hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) viruses, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Mycobacterium Tubercolosis, etc.
Protective clothing (PPE) has the purpose of protecting the wearer´s body (in a complete manner if suitable fully encapsulated protective suits are worn, or else by providing limited protection to the specific area for which the garment was designed as in the case of overalls, jackets or sleeves). In the different specifically designed forms and types, it is intended to prevent the hazardous agent from coming into direct contact with the skin by acting as an effective barrier against the agent itself.
The garments must be tailored so as to assure protection of exposed anatomical parts, which may include the base of the neck, trunk, arms and legs.
The main requirement that must be met by these garments is proven impenetrability by hazardous agents through the materials and assemblages.
The current technical standards specifically conceived to classify this type of protective equipment prescribed tests to determine the behaviour of materials and assemblages placed in contact under pressure with synthetic blood or bodily fluids and their resistance to penetration by infectious agents induced by mechanical contact with substances containing contaminated liquids.
The infectious agents include different types of micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and funguses and may be present in liquids (contaminated liquids, imbibed contaminated solids, aerosols) and solids (dust particles).
EN 14126 Protective clothing against infective agents + relevant EN
Note: Full-body garments (coveralls) for protection against biological hazards must also satisfy the requirements for the combinations specified in the corresponding standards for chemical hazard protection
EN 14126 : 2003 (UNI EN 14126 : 2004)