When disaster strikes, fortunately for our communities first responders and volunteers come to the rescue.
As we know from many tragic examples of great heroism and ultimate sacrifice, unfortunately first responders and volunteers are often not sufficiently protected and during an emergency put the safety of their community first, over their own health and safety.
Before responding to an emergency, think about Personal Protective Equipment that will protect you as you are generously helping your community.
The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) has created and maintains a Wiki page dedicated to PPE:
In particular for protective gloves this page offers a table with the type of glove safe to use to handle different categories of chemicals:
Regarding tight fitting air-purifying respirators, necessary in case of volatile chemicals such as organic solvents, please be aware that you have to undergo a medical check up and an annual respirator fit test to ascertain that using the respirator will not tax your heart and respiratory system and that you are trained to wearing it correctly.
A Conservator’s Guide to Respiratory Protection by Craig E. Colton offers an exhaustive explanation:
For the masks that filter particulate and dust, make sure to choose N-95 models that filter at least 95% of the particulate. The “duck bill” model is one of the most comfortable to wear.
Thank you for your volunteering!