Selecting chemical protective gloves

We received the following message this week

During one of the modules I remember (Mike) showed us a chart with different types of gloves for different uses. I’m not sure if it was a 3M chart.  Is it possible to please ask him he can send me the link.”

The publication I showed during the course referred to was the Chemical Resistance Guide for Ansell gloves.

Where gloves need to be worn for chemical protections its important that they are suitable for the chemical and application concerned and will provide protection for an appropriate time period. Too often inappropriate gloves are worn and even if suitable ones are used, they tend to be used long after they are capable of providing protection.

If it is necessary to use gloves then the first consideration is “what is the chemical we’re protecting against“. Once we know this data should be obtained from glove manufacturers on the breakthrough time, and the permeation rate.  The breakthrough time is the time it takes for the chemical to work its way through the glove, which is normally well before any physical degradation has occured. This will allow the most suitable glove to be selected, as breakthrough times for different gloves for a particular chemical will vary considerably. It will also usually allow the useful life of the glove to be defined – and the replacement frequency.

Degradation data should also be obtained – this is about the physical deterioration of the glove – as this can sometimes occur before breakthrough. Usability considerations are important too.  It’s no good specifying gloves that aren’t usable because they’re not compatible with the work or the user.

Each manufacturer should provide data for their own products so the Ansell guide is not applicable if you use a different supplier.

A pdf version of Ansell’s latest chemical resistance guide is available from here. They also have their information on line.

One of the other main suppliers, Marigold, also have an online guide.

Other manufacturer’s should have similar information available. If not, you can’t use their gloves for chemical protection.

See also When the “right” glove is the wrong glove

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