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Community News Recommendations for disinfecting your personal protective equipment

Recommendations for disinfecting your personal protective equipment

In most parts of the world, the current phased lifting of the stay-at-home lockdown now allows for people to enjoy sports and other physical activities again, including outdoor sports like climbing and mountaineering. Nevertheless, we still need to abide by all health and safety guidelines in place. During the current COVID-19 crisis, many of you have sent us questions asking how to properly disinfect your gear, such as your harness, rope, or quickdraws. Here are the basics that you need to know to clean and disinfect your PPE, whether an amateur outdoor sports enthusiast, or a professional managing a fleet of outdoor PPE.

May 29 2020

Rock climbing

© 2020 - PETZL Distribution - Philip Hanamaikai - Jackson Hole Resort - Teton national fores

To clean PETZL PPE or other equipment, please follow the instructions provided in the technical notice for each product. As a reminder, chemical cleaners damage plastics and textiles, breaking down the compounds and the fibers. The only cleaning products tested and recommended are soap and water.
In the specific case of COVID-19, hospital disinfection methods involve high temperatures (>150°C) or low temperatures (<100°C) and using bleach. We cannot apply these protocols to Petzl PPE. To date, no health authority has announced an official, reliable disinfection protocol using low temperatures (<100°C) and without bleach.

With this in mind, we recommend the following two protocols. Feel free to choose the one that best suits your need or situation:

  • Protocol 1: Follow the 72-hour quarantine rule.                
  • Protocol 2: Submerge your PPE in hot water for at least 30 minutes at a maximum temperature of 65°C, and then wash it with soap and water.

Allow your PPE to air dry in a cool place out of direct sunlight. (Warning: these are exceptional measures for the COVID-19 crisis. Otherwise, under normal circumstances, please wash your equipment at 30°C as indicated in the technical notice).

NOTE: Cleaning products developed by ECOLAB, when applied as instructed, are also compatible with all Petzl helmets and can be used. However, we do not know how effective ECOLAB’s products are in killing the coronavirus. Here is the link to the ECOLAB website for more information: 

Please remember that even though many countries are allowing outdoor sports to resume, they still remain subject to a specific set of health and safety guidelines (more or less strict depending on the country). We recommend that you enquire about local measures in place and follow the official guidelines for participating in these activities. Obviously, all protective measures remain applicable, as do the fundamental safety techniques for each sport.

While the current circumstances are truly unique, we share your enthusiasm for getting back out into the great outdoors and hope that you enjoy yourselves whatever the adventure.

© 2020 - PETZL Distribution -  Sam Bié

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