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Industrial OLD >> Industries >> PPE

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

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PPE Regulations and Compliance Testing

PPE, Protective Gloves Performance & Skin Protection Regulatory Services

At Eurofins Product Testing we offer the necessary testing and expert services to ensure that your personal protective equipment (PPE) and Protective gloves comply with current Regulations.

Services available for the analysis of PPE and protective gloves cover compliance with appropriate standards and regulations called up by the Regulation (EU) 2016/425 Personal Protective Equipment and ISO 374-1, respectively and we are a Notified Body No. 0477 for Regulation (EU) 2016/425.

Regulation (EU) 2016/425 Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are products that the user can wear or hold, in order to be protected against hazards either at home, at work or whilst engaging in leisure activities.

EU Personal Protective Equipment regulation 2016/425 came into force in 2018 with the old directive 89/686/EEC, ending on 21st April 2019, and is a re-cast directive with responsibilities for the whole supply chain including obligations for manufacturers, importers and distributors.

We operate as European Notified Body No. 0477 in Italy for Regulation (EU) 2016/425 Personal Protective Equipment with regards to the following product categories:

  • Equipment providing hearing protection
  • equipment providing respiratory system protection

Offering related services including:

  • Testing in laboratory and/or in witness
  • EU Type certification (Annex V)
  • System Approval certification (Annex VII and VIII)

Personal Protective Gloves for Professionals* **

EN ISO 374-1 for PPE gloves

Protective gloves are used in many situations to protect human skin during wet work, against mechanical and thermal injury, against infections, or against chemicals and drugs; ensuring the correct glove is used is key. To prevent serious problems it is important to avoid too much humidity on hands, direct skin contact with chemical products, and exposure to hazards from the glove itself. 

Inappropriate gloves, as well as hazardous glove ingredients may cause health risks, skin irritations, eczema, or allergies brought on by skin exposure to paints, varnishes, or other solvent or polymer based products. Some specific glove ingredients are more allergenic while textile gloves and plastic gloves may contain carcinogens and other substances of concern if they migrate into skin or into products such as food.

Conversely protective gloves can significantly reduce the risk to human health when used appropriately.

We offer testing and expert services for compliance with EN ISO 374-1 which sets the requirements for the certifying chemical protective gloves.

Under ISO 374-1, protective gloves are classified as Type A, B or C, depending on their performance level with permeation testing against a list of 18 chemicals. Unlike its predecessor, this standard requires chemical protective gloves to be tested for their resistance to degradation.

Personal protective glove testing services

Eurofins is your expert in designing and initiating impartial and reliable PPE glove testing. We perform tests for manufacturers, distributors and users of chemicals, trade associations, and as part of research programmes. PPE glove testing available includes, but is not limited to, the following services.

Mechanical stability

Glove stability under mechanical stress is tested at Eurofins for any glove type, following international standards ISO 1817, ISO 37 and related standards for physical attributes such as tensile strength. 

Gloves and skin-health

A glove itself may constitute a hazard. If allergens are released from the glove material they will be transferred to the body, causing an allergic reaction. For example: Residual sensitising proteins originating from natural latex milk can act as an allergen in latex surgical or household gloves; Chromium VI compounds left over from the tanning process in leather gloves can cause an adverse reaction.

Eurofins offers allergen testing services for gloves including, but not limited to:

  • EN 455-3; analysis of gloves for sensitising proteins
  • EN 420, ISO 17075; analyses gloves for chromium VI
  • Testing for potential allergens such as N-nitrosamines, azo dyes, aromatic amines, PCP

Food contact gloves

Plasticisers and other substances may migrate into food, deteriorating its quality.

  • EN 1186; we offer migration testing in accordance with EN 1186 for different food simulants. Overall migration may be determined, as well as migration of specific substances.

Degradation of gloves

Glove mechanical stability may be deteriorated by chemical challenges, or by hot water and detergent during washing. We offer testing services to evaluate the impact of such exposures on mechanical stability (degradation) in accordance with ISO 1817, ASTM D471. Before and after exposure, glove dimensions (length/width, thickness, density), or glove stability under mechanical stress (tensile strength), are all compared.

Glove tightness

Glove physical tightness and permeability are important features of a PPE glove. For example;

  • Chemical protective gloves are made from elastomers or from thermoplastics. When worn, body heat and sweat will create a warm, humid interior atmosphere under which conditions skin will soften and become more porous; a hazardous substance entering the inside of the glove under these conditions may prove extremely harmful.
  • A glove may be permeable to liquids and/or gases such as water and Nitrogen due to the porosity of the material it was manufactured from, or holes.

We offer tests in accordance with relevant standards to ensure that PPE gloves are fit for the purpose they are placed on the market for, including ISO 13994.

Chemical tightness & permeation testing 

A glove may be free of leaks but still allow passage of substances to the inside. Whilst this is normally restricted to smaller organic molecules, a solvent may act as a carrier for larger molecules by chemical degradation of the membrane. Identifying the right glove for a specific purpose is not straight forward and the deficiency of a glove is not always evident.

Permeation testing carried out using real-use patterns under real-life temperature conditions to identify safe gloves for our clients has, in many cases, allowed a cheaper glove than those that were recommended in tables or by consultants (without specific testing).

We offer testing and expert services in accordance with relevant ASTM and EN standards including EN 374-3, ASTM F739 and ISO 6529 to evaluate the permeation of chemicals through PPE gloves.

Chemical testing

Eurofins Softlines & Leather business line offers specialist chemical testing for textiles including gloves.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

We offer testing for the permeation through PPE gloves of volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as solvents, and water-soluble substances such as acids.

Some very reactive VOC's such as formaldehyde, and non water-soluble low volatile organic compounds, cannot easily be determined. We have developed adaptations of standard test methods for collecting data for difficult to monitor substances. Examples include:

  • Epoxy resins
  • Isocyanates
  • Amines
  • Acrylates
  • PAH,PCB
  • Pesticides
  • Additives in plastic production
  • Latex and other polymers
  • Cytostatic drugs

For more information on protective gloves download our PPE glove flyer 

*Where standards are referred to, national and regional variations are also applicable including, but not limited to; IEC, ANSI/AAMI, UL, ISO, CAN/CSA, JIS, EN, ENV, BS EN, DD ENV and BS IEC.

**The regulations and standards above are not a full list of those within our capabilities; please enquire on a case by case basis.

To find out how we can help you ensure your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and gloves are suitable and compliant and contact your local Eurofins E&E laboratory