A glove cannot be used to protect against all chemicals. While a glove might protect against one chemical, it may not be able to protect the wearer from another. A glove that protects the wearer from a specific chemical will not last forever as the glove material will begin to deteriorate. When choosing gloves to protect against chemical exposures, it is important to consider the following.
Consider these factors when selecting gloves
- Chemicals to be used: Refer to the compatibility tables to make sure that your examination gloves are safe.
- You will need to have dexterity: A thicker glove is more durable to chemical damage like cracks and tears, but it will also be easier to use and feel for the work.
- The extent of protection needed: Consider whether a glove that is longer than the wrist provides sufficient protection or if it will need to extend further up the arm.
- Type of work: Gloves are designed for the job. To avoid injury, ensure you choose the right glove. Example: A nylon cryogenic glove can be damaged by hot items. However, a “hot mitt”, which may not be suitable for liquid nitrogen, will protect the wearer.
Guidelines for glove usage in labs
- Use the right gloves
- Do not wear gloves for more than two hours.
- After gloves are removed, wash your hands.
- Once removed, disposable gloves must be thrown away. Don’t save disposable gloves for later use.
- Dispose of gloves into the proper container – gloves contaminated with biologicals go into a red bag; chemical-contaminated gloves are collected as contaminated debris
- Before you can reuse your gloves, make sure they are washed and dried.
- Before touching personal items (e.g., phones and computers), remove gloves phones, computers, pens, skin).
- Gloves should not be worn outside of the laboratory.
- To transport any item, one glove is sufficient. The other hand can then be used to touch elevator buttons and doorknobs. You can touch any items that you have infected with your gloves if you’re wearing them to “protect your sample” while you are in the hall.
- If a glove breaks or chemicals contact skin for any reason seek medical attention.
Glove Compatibility Charts
Below are links to companies that provide gloves for University of Florida students. The gloves compatibility and chemical resistance charts are available on each website. These charts will help ensure that gloves used for handling chemicals provide adequate protection. These charts will not list all chemicals. Noting that gloves made by different manufacturers may not offer the same protection for a particular chemical, it is important to also note that similar gloves from two different manufacturers might not be equal. It is important to check the compatibility chart of the specific brand of gloves you are using.
Glove compatibility charts: Understanding the terms
- Breakthrough time is the time it takes for the chemical in the glove to move through the material. This measurement is limited to the visible level of the glove’s inside.
- Permeation rate: The time it takes for the chemical, once it has been released, to pass through the glove. This includes the absorption of chemicals into glove material, its migration through the material, and finally reabsorption.
- The chemical will cause the glove material to degrade. This can include but is not limited to, swelling, shrinking, and hardening of the glove material. The glove material.