AristaTek offers testing guidelines for gear used around Ebola

AristaTek released a brief Wednesday detailing the proper use and testing of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the fight against the Ebola virus.

The brief was distributed to hazardous-materials (haz-mat) teams, emergency medical service personnel, fire departments and public health officials. It includes advice from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The brief also documents the testing that their PPE underwent to be approved for the prevention of blood-borne pathogens such as the Ebola and Marburg viruses.

"Instead of not only answering the 'what' question when it comes to picking a PPE for Ebola, we also wanted to answer 'why' that PPE is appropriate, which was the reason for including the background on the ASTM F1671 test procedures," AristaTek CEO Bruce King said.

The brief said each garment's permeability was tested using microorganisms that are physically smaller than the Ebola virus, so testing the suits with the virus itself was not necessary. There is the possibility of users exceeding a pressure threshold, and the brief stresses that extreme caution should be taken around Ebola, even with the use of PPE.

"There is still a lot of concern over Ebola, especially from our customers who are largely the haz-mat teams tasked with responding to and transporting purported Ebola victims for diagnosis and treatment," King said. "Hopefully, this brief gives folks looking over their PPE inventories and practices an additional resource to be sure they are protected."