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Dentists urged to drop out-of-date PPE as ministers fail to provide evidence on safety  

28 August 2020

The British Dental Association has today advised dentists in Scotland not to use stocks of free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided by the Scottish Government, in light of consistent failure by the authorities to provide robust evidence to support claims “revalidated” face masks - some of which are well past their expiry date – are safe.  

Despite repeated attempts to secure clarity NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) has failed to provide categorical proof that expired masks have been robustly assessed.  

The information received by the BDA – including test certificates – does not provide firm proof that these masks are fit for purpose. None of the measures in the test certificate achieved a “pass”, and the manufacturer (3M) has not verified the material or provided clear reassurance that revalidated masks are safe to use.

Using masks which have passed their expiry date may present significant risks to patients, dentists and their teams. In the absence of firm evidence that these masks are safe to use, the BDA has advised its members not to use these masks and called on NSS to make alternative arrangements for supplying PPE to dentists.

David McColl, Chair of the British Dental Assocation's Scottish Dental Practice Committee said:

“Dentists willingly donated their PPE to hospices, pharmacies and hospitals at the onset of this pandemic. In return the Scottish Government has offered us out of date masks, and no evidence they are safe to use.

“Sadly, our engagement with the authorities has generated more questions than answers.

“No dentist should use this kit until Ministers provide hard proof it offers needed protection to both staff and patients.”