From: Monona Rossol <actsnyc**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Glove video feedback
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2016 10:28:11 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 152178d7255-4bfe-8fb**At_Symbol_Here**

1. TOO COMPLEX TO TEACH?   I teach permeability to art and theater students. Most union scenic artists have glove charts in their shops. You don't want my students and union members to know more than your students (and maybe your faculty), do you?  And it is easy.  Brown University's EH&S people in 1999 put out a great explanation: 

A process by which a chemical can pass through a protective film without going through pinholes, pores, or other visible openings. Individual molecules of the chemical enter the film and "squirm" through by passing between the molecules of the glove material may appear unchanged to the human eye.

Chemical permeation can be described in simple terms by comparing it to what happens to the air in a balloon after several hours. Although there are no holes or defects, and the balloon is tightly sealed, the air gradually passes through (permeates) its walls and escapes. This simple example uses gas permeation, but the principle is the same with liquids or chemicals."

2. HARD TO FIND DATA?  I suggest you look at Kimberly-Clarks Nitrile glove permeation resistance guide.  If you can't find it, I'll send it to you.  It has a nice chart with permeation data and their recommendations. I think you will see that labs are often using nitrile gloves for use with chemicals that the manufacturer clearly does not recommend. You know what that implies.

The first big permeation mistake was the methyl mercury death at Dartmouth. In their speeches at the memorial for this person, administrators essentially said "who knew?"   It was known then.  It is known now.  It should be known by every student from day one.  And it certainly should be part of the planning of every experiment.  Read what Kimberly-Clark says in their publication:

"Our thin mil gloves are not designed for applications involving prolonged, direct exposure to chemicals. Our intent in providing this chemical compatibility information is to provide a guideline for use of our thin mil gloves in applications where incidental splash exposure to various chemicals may occur. Gloves should be removed and replaced immediately if incidental splash exposure occurs."

And just in case you think this is a problem with Kimberly-Clark's products only, it is a problem with them all.  Good on Kimberly-Clark for providing it.  I wouldn't have students use gloves for which this data was not available.  But then, as you can see, I'm a vehtik am tokhes.

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: Stuart, Ralph <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**KEENE.EDU>
Sent: Wed, Jan 6, 2016 8:54 am
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Glove video feedback

> >That video is giving students the impression this is a simple test they can do in their labs. It is not.
The goal of the video is to raise awareness about how chemical compatibility concerns impact lab glove selection and use. It doesn't intend to provide complete professional information on the topic of all lab glove issues. The chemicals chosen were those that are used in undergraduate research labs here at KSC.

An aspect of the problem that this video didn't discuss as much as I hoped was the toxicology of the chemicals involved. The synergy of methylene chloride's impact on the glove and the potential systematic toxicity of skin exposure to methanol and hexane were the topics of most concern to me as I reviewed the work; the chemists were unaware of this possibility. Those topics are too complex to address in a introductory training video and I expect to bring them up in discussions with people working specifically with that collection of chemicals. The goal of the video is to introduce basic concepts to start the more specific discussion.

>In my work, I encounter a lot of labs, processing, manufacturing, and agriculture operations with young technicians and have received a number of questions about when to change gloves- how to avoid contamination other things when using gloves, etc.

That's a good point. I notice that in the food service industry, some shops wash hands and change gloves after every order. I have seen labs where reuse of nitrile gloves is standard practice. Cross contamination associated with gloves and lab equipment is addressed by another video I use that can be found at

One of the advantages of short videos is the ability to mix and match them to address different audience needs. This also imposes some of the limitations noted above.

Thanks for the ongoing interest in this topic.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Keene State College


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