What to look for when purchasing PPE
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are worn for protection against potential disease-causing agents. During this ongoing pandemic, PPE have become a commodity, especially for those working in the frontline. Therefore, it is important to make sure that PPE that is being purchased is safe, functional and of high quality. So, what factors should be considered when it comes to buying PPE in Canada?

Does the manufacturer have authorization to sell PPE in Canada?

PPE that are intended for medical use are called medical devices in Canada and companies that sell PPE must get authorization by Health Canada to distribute them. A Medical Device Establishment Licence (MDEL) is required to sell medical devices, such as PPE, in Canada. Penguin Health has all the necessary licences needed to get authorization by Health Canada to sell their PPE in Canada.

Do the products meet Canadian standards?

Anyone looking to sell medical PPE must ensure that their products meet the standards and certifications approved by Health Canada in order sell them in Canada. Standards are specific for each type of PPE and certify that safe and high quality products are made and sold. Health Canada recognizes the standards for PPE set by various organizations such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some international standards for certain PPE are also acceptable as long as they meet the specifications set by Health Canada, such as the KN95 respirators which are the Chinese standard for respirators. Penguin Health offers products that have been manufactured in Ontario and meet various standards and certifications that have been approved by Health Canada.

What standards should you look for?

Standards specify the design and testing requirements to ensure that safe and functional products are made. Though the standards vary for each type of PPE, there are some requirements that are shared for all types of PPE. For example, the fit of the PPE should offer both safety and comfort to ensure that they not only protect the wearer against potential hazards but also allow the wearer to perform their work without obstruction of movement. PPE should also be durable and sterile with no visible or functional defects. Reusable PPE should have labelling that instructs on the proper decontamination and reuse procedures. The labelling should also include the number of times the product can be reused before it needs to be disposed of. PPE must also undergo various testing procedures to ensure that they can effectively protect against hazards. Penguin Health offers a variety of safe and high quality medical PPE that have been designed and tested to meet all the basic and specific standards that have been approved by Health Canada.

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