Personal Protection Equipment

There are many types of PPE available for workers in different fields. Appropriate equipment is determined by the type of work being performed. For those handling natural science collections, the biggest concern is protection against chemicals and minerals that cause contamination or irritation when exposed to the body. The main PPE that should be accessible to museum employees include (but are not limited to):

  • Gloves (for more on gloves download the Gloves Checklist) [link to pdf]
  • Eye goggles
  • Face shield
  • Face mask
  • Respirators
  • Lab coat

These pieces of equipment will protect the body against chemical splashes or leaks, as well as radioactive emissions. PPE should never be reused if it is disposable, and if it is reusable, should always be washed or cleaned before reuse.

Additional Resources for specific types of PPE:

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health lists outlines the five main types of PPE: respirators and protective clothing, skin exposure and eye and hearing protection. More information on each topic is available in the section on “Personal Protective Equipment” in the Emergency Response Resources.


Many vendors of preservation supplies sell PPE, but these materials generally can be found cheaper from scientific supply vendors online.