Research & Development >> Projects on Skin Exposure and Protection >> Improved Method for Testing Protective Gloves

Eurofins Product Testing - Improved Method for Testing of Protective Gloves

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Duration: 1st January 1996  to 31st May 1999.

RTD Project : 617.0 FF 106
Improved Method for Testing of Protective Gloves

Project funded by the Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (German Work Insurance and Prevention Services).

Skin disease is one of the most frequent occupational diseases. An important portion of skin diseases is caused by chemical exposure. The most effective control is to avoid chemical skin contact by work organisation measures. Protective gloves are suitable to reduce the residual risk. Protection time is determined by the permeability of the glove.

Testing the barrier properties of chemical protective gloves in accordance with EN 374-3 (permeation) does not represent the conditions in service to a sufficient extent. Elevated temperature inside glove due to body heat as well as only short-term or just occasional exposure both have a significant impact to a glove's real protection time. Mechanical stretching due to moving the hand is of minor importance.

A test procedure was developed which allows permeation testing at 35 °C inside glove temperature, 20 % length stretching and short-term exposure. The procedure was applied to 5 products containing volatile organic solvents. All in all, 19 gloves were tested. The results allowed a more specific glove selection in many cases, as compared with the information taken from databases on protective gloves for single substances - especially in the case being of short time exposure.

A decision scheme for the selection of suitable gloves was presented, considering the variation of both the testing results and the genuine properties of the gloves. Proposals for how to increase the quality of permeation testing were outlined.

This project was sponsored by the German Federation of Chemical Industry VCI and by KCL Kächele Cama Latex GmbH.

More information:

Project report - in German
Slide presentation on the results delivered to Conference on  Occupational & Environmental Exposures of Skin to Chemicals: Science & Policy 2002

This project was performed by MILJÖ-CHEMIE that now is part of the Eurofins Environment A/S, Denmark.

For an overview on glove selection and testing, please click here.

For guidance on selection of gloves, please click here.

For guidance on testing of gloves, please click here.