From: Monona Rossol <actsnyc**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Disposable Nitrile Gloves - Are they all the same?
Date: May 25, 2013 10:07:53 AM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <460365139.298177.1369426047515.JavaMail.root**At_Symbol_Here**>

There is an ASTM permeability test that primary manufacturers use to test their heavy chemicals gloves.  Some manufacturers also use this test on their disposable gloves.   Since the test is chemical-specific it would be expensive to test every chemical with the disposables, but a few years ago I saw North had some common solvent permeability test data published for their nitrile disposable gloves.  And every primary manufacturer has a tech service that you can call.  If anyone has this data, these people should.
Be careful they don't try to give you their degradation data.  Hell, you can see when a glove begins to degrade.  You want to know when the chemical goes through without showing any visible changes in the glove..
The important thing to teach students is no glove is good protection against all chemicals and those that are recommended for a specific chemical only resist it for a while. And that data is highly manufacturer-specific.  There are big differences between plastic films deposited on the hand form from a laxex dispersion as opposed to a solvent borne solution.  The exact thickness is also a factor.  And now there are so many alterations in the polymers, copolymers, tripolymers, etc.
I like to show students and my union trainees a good chart for many gloves and which lists permeation data in minutes.  Then they can see how fast some chemicals penetrate even the thick chemical gloves.  I specifically have them look at the permeation time for  2-butoxyethanol which they are ALL exposed to at home. Most permeation times through the heavy natural rubber gloves is just a few minutes. 
Most disposable rubber latex glove boxes state somewhere on the warning label that they are not to be used for protection against chemicals.  And if they don't, they should.
If the students are concerned about the color, this should convince the smart ones there are more important criteria.  My personal permeation time for that trivial discussion is under a minute.
Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President:  Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012     212-777-0062

-----Original Message-----
From: Don Abramowitz <dabramow**At_Symbol_Here**BRYNMAWR.EDU>
Sent: Fri, May 24, 2013 6:05 pm
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Disposable Nitrile Gloves - Are they all the same?

So, we're looking to consolidate our glove purchasing to see if we can get better deals by buying in bulk.  Over the years, we've successfully gotten all of our scientists to use 4 mil disposable nitrile gloves (as opposed to latex or vinyl) as our "default" disposable choice.   Since all of the labs buy their own supplies, we have folks with definite preferences for purple, bright green, blue etc, but I have yet to find any actual data that would suggest that one brand is superior to another in terms of chemical resistance, mechanical integrity, puncture resistance, combustibility, etc..   One frequently sees caveats about differences in manufacturers' formulations making it impossible to apply information about one brand to another, but has anyone come across actual evaluations that show one to be superior to another?

I'd like to have a basis for choosing other than "favorite color," but I'm coming up short.   Any suggestions?


Donald Abramowitz
Environmental Health & Safety Officer
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA

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