Chemical Protection Gloves Selection.
Before selecting any PPE, a basic assessment must be made to identify and evaluate the risk. Where possible the risk must be reduced or eliminated by a modification of workplace practice. This option is always preferred to the use of PPE.
The employer must inform his workers of the risks in the workplace he must supply appropriate and correctly fitting PPE which complies with recognised standards (EN, SABS, BOBS) and give adequate instruction in its use.
The employer should further ensure that the PPE supplied is used only for the purpose intended by the manufacturer, and in accordance with the manufacturer instructions.
The employer is required to audit the workplace hazards and assess the level of risk to the employees.
The employer is required to define the properties in the PPE necessary to protect the employees.
The employer must ensure that all PPE used in the workplace conforms to recognised standards.
The employer must compare the merits of the various types of protection available.
The employer must keep records of assessments and reasons for selecting the particular type of PPE.
If the risk should alter in any way, for instance by the introduction of a new chemical or process, the assessment must be repeated.
Chemical Protective Gloves must meet the requirements of European Standard EN ISO 374. This Standard has been modified substantially. The number of test chemicals has been increased from 12 to 18 and gloves will be classified as type A, B or C
Type A: Protective glove with permeation resistance of at least 30 minutes each for at least 6 test chemicals
Type B: Protective glove with permeation resistance of at least 30 minutes each for at least 3 test chemicals
Type C: Protective glove with permeation resistance of at least 10 minutes each for at least 1 test chemical.
Most chemical protection gloves can be assigned to Type A and only thin disposable protective gloves will be assigned to Types B and C.
Degradation is rated according to the change in integrity following chemical exposure. The rate of degradation depends on which chemical the glove has come into contact with.
Penetration is the flow of chemicals and micro-organisms through the porous material, seams, small holes or other defects in the glove material. A glove shall not leak when tested to an air and or water leak test in accordance to EN ISO 374.
Permeation is the process where a chemical passes through the glove’s material on a molecular level. Permeation means the following: a chemical’ molecules penetration through the outer material of the glove. Each chemical tested is classified in terms of breakthrough time from 0 to 6.
Diffusion is the movement of molecules through the material.
Desorption is the outward flow of molecules from inside the glove.
Minimum liquid proof section of the glove shall be at least equal to the minimum length of the gloves as specified in EN ISO 374.
There are thousands of different chemicals or combinations of different chemicals in use and we have tested and approved chemical gloves for use when handling these chemicals. You have to give us the name and Cas number of the chemicals you are using and we will recommend a glove and the breakthrough time.
The micro-organism pictogram is used when the glove conforms to at least performance level 2 in the penetration list.
Acceptable Quality Level
A chemical Resistance glove pictogram must be accompanied by a 3 digit code. This code refers to the code letters of 3 defined chemicals from a standard list of 12 defined chemicals for which a permeation breakthrough time of at least 30 minutes has been obtained. A chemical resistance pictogram will show a beaker with a narrow top. A low chemical resistance or waterproof pictogram will show a beaker with vertical sides and a question mark in the beaker. You must monitor the time use of the glove to ensure breakthrough time is not exceeded. The breakthrough time may only be 30minutes.
Breakthrough Time (minutes)
The 18 Standard defined chemicals are listed below.
Sulphur containing organic compound
Heterocyclic & ethereal compound
Sodium Hydroxide 40%
Sulphuric Acid 96%
Inorganic Mineral Acid
Nitric Acid 65%
Inorganic Mineral Acid, Oxidizing
Acetic Acid 99%
Ammonium Hydroxide 25%
Hydrogen Peroxide 30%
Hydrofluoric Acid 40%
Inorganic Mineral Acid
The chart below will help you select the right glove material against different types of chemicals. Please note that the chemical data sheet information does not necessarily reflect the actual duration in the workplace.
Please note that certain PVC and rubber gloves do not have the chemical pictogram and should not be used for chemicals as they have not been tested for chemical use.
Cleaning and Disposal of Used Chemical Gloves.
Once the gloves have been used they are contaminated with chemicals. Washing the gloves is a problem as it puts the chemical into the sewage and water system. Our sewage systems in Southern Africa cannot deal with these chemicals so our water system ends up contaminated. When disposing the gloves the method of disposal is important. They must not end up in the dump otherwise people and animals scavanging on the dump may be contaminated with the chemical. The gloves must be incinerated or disposed of as a biohazard.