Selecting chemical resistant gloves
Gloves reduce the exposure of our hands to hazardous materials. No single material will protect against all chemicals, so glove selection must be made for each type of chemical. Latex gloves may provide adequate protection against dilute aqueous solutions, they however provide no protection against exposure to solvents.
The information below is intended as a guideline for selecting the appropriate protective glove. Manufacturers can supply specific information on the choice of glove for specific applications. Glove selection should be based on the following criteria:
Degradation due to contact with chemicals causes the glove material to soften, swell, shrink, stretch, dissolve, or to become hard and brittle.
Permeation is the result of molecular diffusion of a chemical through a glove material. There may be permeation without obvious signs of degradation. Permeation is quantified by breakthrough time and permeation rate.
|Breakthrough time||The time it takes for a particular chemical to pass through a protective material.|
|Permeating rate||The speed at which the chemical moves through the protective material once it has broken through.|
Glove performance decreases significantly as chemical exposure increases by:
- Chemical concentration
- Direct immersion
- Previous exposures
Permeation test data are obtained at room temperature (20 to 25 degrees Celsius). If chemicals are being used at temperatures higher than this glove performance may be significantly affected.
Any chemical will permeate a protective material given enough time. The breakthrough time for a thicker material will be longer than that of a thinner material, providing superior chemical resistance. When choosing a chemical resistant glove manual dexterity must also be taken into account.
Differences in production of materials results in variations of permeation and degradation between manufacturers. Test data for a particular manufacturer should be consulted prior to selecting a chemical resistant glove.
Permeation testing is conducted using pure chemicals. Mixtures of chemicals will significantly alter the permeation rate and degradation of a material.
Chemical penetration through a tear or hole in a glove will cause a much greater chemical exposure potential than caused by molecular permeation.
This guide is for general reference only, for specific recommendations contact the glove manufacturer, Safety Data Sheets (SDS), or the Safety Office.
|Latex||Natural rubber||Weak acids, weak bases, alcohols, aqueous solutions||Oils, greases and organics|
|Butyl||Synthetic rubber||Aldehydes, ketones, esters, glycol ethers, polar organic solvents||Alipathic, aromatic and chlorinated solvents|
|Neoprene||Synthetic rubber||Oxidizing acids, bases, alcohols, oils, fats, aniline, phenol, glycol ethers||Chlorinated solvents|
|Nitrile||Synthetic rubber||Oils, greases, acids, causatics, alipathic solvents||Aromatic solvents, many ketones, esters and many chlorinated solvents|
|PVA||Poly-vinyl alcochol||A wide range of alipathics, aromatic and chlorinated solvents, ketones (except acetone), esters, and ethers||Acids, alcohols, bases and water|
|PVC||Poly-vinyl chloride||Strong acids, and bases, salts, other aqueous solutions, alcohols, glycol ethers||Alipathic, aromatic and chlorinated solvents, aldehydes, ketones, nitrocompounds|
|Vitron||Fluoroelastimeter||Aromatic, alipathic and chlorinated solvents, and alcohols||Some ketones, esters and amines|
|Silver shield||Laminate||Wide range of solvents, acids and bases|
Some other information on chemical resistance of gloves and clothing: