What Does Chemical Resistance for Gloves Really Mean?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a chemical as a chemical compound, element or a mixture of the two. This can mean virtually any substance you use in the workplace can qualify as a chemical. As a result, gloves come in various degrees of chemical resistance to safeguard you from different levels of hazard.

What Does Chemical Resistance (CR) Mean?

Chemical resistance means gloves have a degradation rate, permeation rate and breakthrough time that meets the standards established by organizations such as ASTM International. These standards allow manufacturers to indicate the level of protection each type of glove offers.

The degradation rate is how quickly or effectively a glove material resists being compromised by a chemical. The breakthrough time is evaluated by a process where scientists time how long it takes for a test chemical to seep into the glove. Permeation rate is determined by a six-hour or eight-hour test, during which scientists measure how much of the chemical enters through the glove material. The permeation rate refers to the highest flow rate to result from this test.

Standards for Chemical Resistant Gloves

During chemical handling, gloves with CR are designed to protect the wearer from exposure to chemicals that can harm the skin or enter the bloodstream. Since the risk to the wearer can be high, there are standards in place for different chemical-resistant glove types.

Manufacturers of chemically resistant gloves must test their products using the ASTM F739 standard test method. This method is a procedure for measuring the permeation of liquids and gases through protective materials. Following this test method helps determine how long the gloves are effective and what the gloves can protect against.

OSHA also enforces criteria for CR, establishing guidelines for gloves in the workplace and making employers responsible for ensuring workers use the right gloves.

These standards are critical for ensuring gloves adequately protect wearers from harmful substances.

Choosing the Right Chemically Resistant Gloves

When choosing gloves, refer to ANSI/ISEA 105-2016, which includes a scale rating for product effectiveness against specific chemicals. You will also want to consider the glove materials. Latex can protect against biological chemicals and acids, while polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is effective against fats, acids, bases and peroxide. Nitrile gloves offer protection against many types of oils, acids, solvents and bases.

When choosing gloves, consider thickness, too. The thicker the material, the longer it will take a chemical to permeate it, but you may lose touch sensitivity and flexibility.

Buy Chemical Resistant Gloves from SUNLINE Supply

Now that you know how to choose the right gloves for your needs, you can order your PPE from SUNLINE Supply today. We are an FDA-certified company, and we carefully inspect the PPE we supply. For more information, you can contact us using our online form

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