Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Definitions

Personal protective equipment (PPE)-Apparel and devices worn to protect the body from contact with pesticides or pesticide residues include:

  • Coveralls
  • Chemical-resistant suits, gloves, footwear, aprons, and headgear
  • Protective eyewear
  • Respirators

While the following attire is not defined as PPE, the labeling might require pesticide handlers or early-entry workers to wear it for some tasks:

  • Long- sleeved shirts
  • Long pants
  • Shoes and socks
  • Other items of regular work clothing

If such non-PPE attire is required, the employer must make sure that it is worn.

Chemical-resistant-Allows no measurable amount of the pesticide to move through the material during use.

Waterproof-Allows no measurable movement of water (or water-based solutions) through the material during use.

Chemical-resistant suit-A loosely fitting one- or two-piece chemical-resistant garment that covers, at a minimum, the entire body except for the head, hands, and feet.

Coverall-A loosely fitting one- or two-piece garment that covers, at a minimum, the entire body except the head, hands, and feet. Coveralls are made of fabric, such as cotton or a cotton-polyester blend, and are not chemical resistant. The pesticide labeling might specify that the coveralls be worn over a layer of clothing. (Allowable substitution: A chemical-resistant suit can be worn instead of coveralls and any required inner layer of clothing.)

Chemical-resistant apron-One made of chemical-resistant material, covering the front of the body from mid-chest to knees. (Allowable substitution: if a chemical-resistant suit is worn, no apron is required.)

Gloves-Hand coverings of the type listed on the pesticide label. Gloves or glove linings made of leather, cotton, or other absorbent materials cannot be worn for handling or early-entry activities unless these materials are listed on the pesticide labeling as acceptable for such use. (Allowable substitution: Leather gloves may be worn over chemical-resistant liners for tasks with sharp-thorned plants. After leather gloves have been worn for such work, however, they may be worn only with chemical-resistant liners and may not be worn for any other use.

Chemical-resistant footwear-Chemical-resistant shoes, boots, or shoe coverings worn over shoes or boots. (Allowable substitution: Leather boots may be worn in rough terrain if chemical-resistant footwear with appropriate durability and tread is unavailable.)

Protective eyewear-Goggles, face shield, or safety glasses with front, brow, and temple protection. (Allowable substitution: A full-face respirator.)

Chemical-resistant headgear-A chemical-resistant hood or hat with a wide brim.

Minimum Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Work Clothing for Handling Activities

Toxicity Category of End-use Product

Route of Exposure

I (Danger)

II (Warning)

III (Caution)

IV (Caution)

Dermal toxicity or skin irritation potential1

Coveralls worn over short-sleeve shirt and short pants
Socks
Chemical-resistant footwear
Chemical-resistant gloves

Coveralls worn over short-sleeve shirt and short pants
Socks
Chemical-resistant footwear
Chemical-resistant gloves

Long-sleeve shirt and long pants
Socks
Shoes
Chemical-resistant gloves

Long-sleeve shirt and long pants
Socks
Shoes

Inhalation toxicity

Respiratory protection device

Respiration protection device

Eye irritation potential

Protective eyewear

Protective eyewear

1If dermal toxicity and skin irritation potential are in different toxicity categories, protection shall be based on the more toxic (lower numbered) category.

The following table lists EPA chemical resistance categories for selected personal protective materials of gloves (Oregon OSHA: http://www.orosha.org/publications/pesticidepubs.html )

Selection category listed on pesticide label

Type of personal protective material

Barrier laminate

Butyl
rubber
≥14 mils

Nitrile
rubber
≥14 mils

Neoprene
rubber ≥14 mils

Natural rubber ≥14 mils

Polyethylene

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) ≥14 mils

Viton ≥14 mils

A (dry and water-based)

High

High

High

High

High

High

High

High

B

High

High

Slight

Slight

None

Slight

Slight

Slight

C

High

High

High

High

Moderate

Moderate

High

High

D

High

High

Moderate

Moderate

None

None

None

Slight

E

High

Slight

High

High

Slight

None

Moderate

High

F

High

High

High

Moderate

Slight

None

Slight

High

G

High

Slight

Slight

Slight

None

None

None

High

H

High

Slight

Slight

Slight

None

None

None

High