Any work with cytostatics requires the protection of workers from the dangers of drugs (carcinogenic, mutagenic, reprotoxic impact). At the same time, it is important to protect the product against contamination from people.
Cytostatics are used as drugs in cancer therapy (chemotherapy) to inhibit the multiplication of tumour cells and are also used increasingly to treat other diseases. However, their toxicity affects not only tumour cells but also healthy cells.
To prevent hazards to staff while handling cytostatics, a range of suitable precautions must be taken. What applies to the handling of hazardous substances in general is also true for cytostatics, i.e. the highest priority must be placed on the full use of all technical and organizational measures. For instance, care must be taken to prevent the formation of cytostatic aerosols and dust and to avoid cytostatic contamination during production, preparation, provision, disposal, storage and transportation of such substances. Potential health hazards can be caused even by low-level contact with cytostatic substances. If there is any risk of contact, use of suitable personal protection equipment (PPE) is mandatory to ensure effective full-scale protection. PPE selection is commonly based on the findings and results of risk analysis, in addition to technical and organisational measures.
These protective measures apply to all staff who come into contact with cytostatics, not merely during production and preparation, but also application, disposal, shipping and when being handled by cleaning and maintenance staff.
Both cleanroom clothing and chemical protective clothing need to meet the same basic criteria for use in a cleanroom: the material must be low-linting, the design must be sufficiently tight and the danger of collecting particles on the surface of the garment must be minimised. To be suitable for dealing with cytostatics, such clothing must also be comfortable to wear, it must have good electrostatic discharge efficiency and sterilisation must be possible.
Three protective clothing ranges - Tyvek® IsoClean®, Tyvek® and Tychem® not only provide confidence for people involved in cancer treatments, but also protect cytostatics from contamination, to ensure the highest quality of drugs administered to patients. As single-use protective clothing, Tyvek® IsoClean®, Tyvek® and Tychem® ranges of products have the advantage that uncontaminated virgin material with a proven and documented barrier protection provided for each use.
Tyvek® IsoClean® coveralls are designed especially for use in cleanrooms and controlled environments demanding high levels of microbiological protection.
Protective suits made of Tyvek® are also suitable for activities involved in the production of cytostatics and offer different levels of protection depending on hazard type.
Accessories made of Tychem® 2000 C provide additional protection from inorganic chemicals for body parts subjected to high levels of exposure.