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School of Biomedical Sciences
Glove selection guide
The main hazards encountered by              Those that have been performance
SBMS staff can be divided into               tested against biological hazards will
Biological and Chemical Hazards.             have the biohazard pictogram on the
The following guidance is adapted            packaging along with the performance
from the University occupational             rating. e.g:
hygiene            site,           see
http://www.safety.ed.ac.uk/resources/
General/gloves.shtm .

Further information on selecting the
right glove may be found at
http://www.marigoldindustrial.com/en/s
earch_chemical_78,386.aspx



Biological Hazards                           However, where other hazards are
                                             present eg. chemical, puncture etc.
Advice from the Biosafety Unit site on       some gloves may not offer adequate,
GMP: ‘Wearing of gloves gives                or any, protection against these
additional protection if the micro-          hazards. Gloves can also be tested for
organism being handled infects via the       cut/puncture resistance, and this will
percutaneous        route….      it     is   be depicted by a pictogram on the box
recommended that two pairs of                like this:
disposable gloves be worn when
handling samples (minor damage to
thin gloves often goes undetected until
skin contamination is noticed). If during
use the outer glove become punctured
or grossly contaminated it should be
removed and disposed of. If the inner
glove is also damaged or contaminated
it should also be disposed of and hands
should be washed and clean gloves put
on.

On completion of work gloves should be
removed and discarded, and hands
should be washed. Disposable gloves          Disposable Latex (Natural Rubber)
should not be re-used as contamination       or Vinyl laboratory gloves are the
is likely to be transferred when these       usual glove of choice against
are put back on.’                            biological hazards, these are primarily
                                             intended     to    minimise    sample
Gloves that are manufactured from            contamination but, if of good quality,
materials that afford protection from        will provide some degree of personal
chemicals should also offer some             protection. See page 2 for further
protection from biological hazards.          information.




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                                          Due to the wide range of chemical
Chemical Hazards                          hazards in the workplace, it is
                                          essential to seek specialised advice
When assessing risk to hands from         from the glove manufacturer or
exposure to chemicals, all the            supplier to establish the most suitable
chemicals being used should be            hand protection.
examined, as seemingly harmless
substances such as detergents and
water may also cause skin damage.
                                          Latex:     Natural rubber provides
                                          excellent resistance to aqueous
                                          chemicals such as acids and alkalis.
It is essential accurate information on
                                          Thicker latex products can also
the hazards a particular chemical or      provide a measure of resistance to
mixture of chemicals presents to the
                                          specific solvents. Different latex
user is known. This can be found from
                                          compounds will provide varying levels
the Material Safety Data Sheets
                                          of protection irrespective of thickness.
(MSDS), which should be used to
                                          An advantage of latex is that it has a
complete the COSHH risk assessment        high level of comfort, elasticity and
and decide on the best PPE to use.        dexterity. They are not suitable for
                                          some      chemicals     however,     see
Gloves providing chemical resistance      http://pubs.acs.org/hotartcl/chas/97/no
are available in a wide variety of        vdec/latex.html for an article on a fatal
materials and thicknesses. Disposable     case of mercury poisoning.
laboratory type, gloves may offer no,
or only splash protection against a       However, Latex gloves present a
small range of specific chemical          risk of irritation, allergic reaction or
agents, and most chemicals will           sensitisation which, for susceptible
eventually permeate through a glove,      individuals, can be significant. Latex
leaving the hazardous substance           gloves should only be used when
trapped between the glove and the         no other glove is appropriate.
skin. The rate of permeation can vary
from seconds to hours, dependant on
                                          University Safety Policy prohibits the
the chemical hazard and the materials
                                          use of powdered latex gloves for
used in the glove manufacture. Some
                                          any purpose, and advises that, if use
manufacturers      now    print   the
                                          of latex is essential, only latex gloves
permeation time on the box for easy
                                          with low levels of extractable latex
reference.
                                          protein should be used. See
                                          http://www.safety.ed.ac.uk/resources/
Contact with certain chemicals may        General/latex_pol.shtm for details.
also cause a glove to lose one or more
of its physical properties. Gloves may
                                          There is no cure for sensitisation.
become stiffer and more brittle or
                                          Allergic reactions vary in severity and
softer and weaker. They may lose
                                          in extreme cases it can induce
shape or may swell depending on the
                                          anaphylactic shock, which can be
chemical the glove is exposed to and
the materials in the glove.               fatal. For more information on Latex
                                          allergies                            see
Anyone purchasing gloves for a            http://www.safety.ed.ac.uk/resources/
laboratory situation should ensure        General/latex.shtm
that they are certified as having a
protection rating of at least PT3 on      Further Advice is available from the
European standard EN 374. This            Occupational   Health    Unit   (Ext.
means that the gloves have been           508190)     on    avoidance      and
tested for permeation and degradation     management     of   skin    problems
with a range of chemicals.



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Some     alternative     materials   include     (For    other   materials    see     also
http://www.hse.gov.uk/latex/pdf/glovematerials.pdf ) :

Nitrile (synthetic rubber) gives good resistance to oil based chemicals and is
excellent for protection against petrols, oils and lubricants together will many
solvents. However, nitrile rubber is prone to swelling in some solvents thus reducing
the physical strength of the product and lessening the protection.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) will provide chemical resistance to aqueous chemicals,
but protection against solvents is limited as many solvents extract the plasticiser
used to make the product flexible. This causes contamination of the solvent being
used and the glove may begin to stiffen and crack.

Neoprenetm (or polychloroprene) this has similar comfort and conformity features
as natural rubber but with added resistance to petrol, oil and lubricants.

Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) protects against most organic solvents but is soluble in
water and exposure to water based solvents may reduce performance. PVA is
inflexible and requires plasticisation. Currently, because of processing difficulties
PVA is only available as a polyethylene laminate or on a supported fabric liner.

Butyl offers protection against many organic chemicals and strong acids. However,
butyl gloves are very difficult to manufacture. An outer layer of Neoprene is often
required as butyl has very poor resistance to petrol, oil and lubricants.

Vitontm is a fluorinated polymer similar to Teflontm. The low surface energy of the
polymer means that droplets of chemical are not retained on the surface thus
reducing chemical permeation. Specialist protection against chlorinated solvents and
aromatic hydrocarbons is offered but there is poor resistance to ketones.


Summary: Non-latex glove alternatives-Physical
properties versus Price.
(Adapted from http://www.hse.gov.uk/latex/pdf/glovematerials.pdf)

Material type     Strength           Softness       Elasticity     Tear Strength       Cost
Natural           Good               Very Good      Very Good      Good                Low
rubber
Polyisoprene      Good               Very Good      Very Good      Moderate            High
Nitrile           Good               Good           Good           Poor                Moderate
Neoprene          Good               Good/          Good/          Poor                Moderate
                                     Very Good      Very Good                          /High
Block             Good               Good           Very Good      Fair                Moderate /
copolymers                                                                             High
PVC               Fair               Good           Poor           Poor                Low
Polyurethane      Very Good          Good           Good           Good                High




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Appendix 1:Glove Suppliers
The University have put into place purchasing agreements with the following
companies. This means that their products are stocked in stores, and can be obtained
at a discount from list price. See the procurement website for a list of recommended
suppliers and contact details
.
  http://www.pps.ed.ac.uk/for/staff/contracts_suppliers/suppliers/index.cfm

Supplier       Glove types               Comments
Arco           Touch’n’tuff’/TNT         Approved to BSEN374 cat 3
               nitrile (blue or green)
Continental    Vinyl, Latex & Nitrile    Approved to EN455 (class 1 medical) only
Lab Products
Fisher        All types, including       Gloves with various PPE ratings, see catalogue
Scientific    Touch’n’tuff’/TNT          for specification.
              Nitrile (blue or green)
Kimberley     ‘Safeskin’ Latex &         As recommended by Chemistry dept.
Clark         Nitrile
4C            Latex, Vinyl               Procurement recommended- favourable
Healthcare                               discounts. Tel 01506 431010
Schottlander Latex (low allergy)
Ansell        Laminate, nitrile,         See
Occupational neoprene, polyvinyl         http://www.ansell-
healthcare    chloride (vinyl),natural   edmont.com/download/Ansell_7thEditionChemi
(not a listed rubber, neoprene/latex     calResistanceGuide.pdf
supplier at   blend                      or use their ‘Specware’ database at
present)                                 http://www.ansellpro.com/specware/guide.asp
                                         to check what glove type is best for oyur
                                         application




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Appendix 2: Glove selection tables
These tables are taken from the Oxford University MSDS web pages written by Hugh Cartwright, specifically from his glove selection guide
pages, selected by material , or chemical Other information is available from manufacturer websites such as Ansell http://www.ansell-
edmont.com/download/Ansell_7thEditionChemicalResistanceGuide.pdf . or http://www.marigoldindustrial.com/en/search_chemical_78,386.aspx

It is important to check the manufacturer’s tables before deciding on the suitability of a glove for the substance you are using.

                    Chemical resistant gloves                                                  Mineral acids
                                                                                               Oils
   Material                    Generally suitable for                                          Plating solutions
                 Aldehydes                                                                     Alcohols
                 Carboxylic acids                                                              Ammonium fluoride
Butyl rubber     Glycols and ethers                                                            Freons
                 Hydroxyl compounds and alcohols                                               Hexane
                 Peroxides                                                                     Hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acid
                                                                              Nitrile rubber
Latex             SEE GUIDANCE BEFORE USING                                                    Perchloric acid
                 Acetone                                                                       Perchloroethylene
                 Acohols                                                                       Phosphoric acid
                 Alkalies and Caustics                                                         Potassium and sodium hydroxide
Natural rubber   Ammonium fluoride                                                             Water soluble materials, dilute acids and bases
                 Dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO)                                                    General prevention of contamination
                 Phenol                                                       Vinyl            Medical examination
                 Plating solutions                                                             Nuisance materials
                 Alcohols
                 Alkalies and caustics
Neoprene
                 Cellosolve
                 Degreasing solvents




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Abbreviations used for glove              If a chemical you use isn’t on this list        Benzene                Pva T V B
material:                                 then please contact the SSA and the list
                                          can be updated.                                 Benzoyl chloride       Pva V

4H     4H (PE/EVAL)                                                Recommended Glove      Benzyl alcohol         Br V
                                          Chemical
                                                                   type
B      Barricade                                                                          Benzylamine            T
                                          Acetaldehyde             Br T
Br     Butyl rubber                                                                       Benzyl bromide         T
                                          Acetic acid              Br Ne T V S
CPF    CPF 3                                                                              Boric acid             Br N Ni V
                                          Acetone                  Br T 4H CPF Res
Ne     Neoprene                                                                           Bromine                T
                                          Acetonitrile             Br T B
Ni     Nitrile rubber                                                                     Bromobenzene           Pva V
                                          Acetonylacetone          Nr Br
Nr     Natural rubber                                                                     2-bromoethanol         Br V
                                          Acetophenone             T
Pe     Polyethylene                                                                       Butyric acid           Br V
                                          Acrolein                 Br B
Pva    Polvinyl alcohol                                                                   gamma-butyrolactone    4H
                                          Acrylamide               Br Ni Pvc V
Pvc    Polyvinyl chloride                                                                 C
                                          Allylamine               Br
Res    Responder                                                                          Cadmium oxide          Ne Ni
                                          Ammonia (liquid)         Res CPF
S      Saranex                                                                            Carbon disulfide       Pva T V B 4H Res Ty
                                          Ammonium hydroxide       Br Ni T V
T      Teflon                                                                             Carbon tetrachloride   Pva T V B
                                          Aniline                  Br Pva T V B
Ty     Tychem 10000                                                                       Chloral, anhydrous     V Br
                                          B
V      Viton




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Chloroacetic acid           Br Ne Pe V              Di(2-                                    Ethylene oxide       Br T B
                                                                           Br V 4H Ba
                                                    ethylhexyl)phthalate
4-chloroaniline             B                                                                Ethyl methacrylate   Br Pva
                                                    Dimethyl acetamide     Br
Chloroform                  Pva T V B                                                        F
                                                    Dimethylformamide      Br T 4H Res
1-chloropropane             T                                                                Fluoroacetamide      Ne
                                                    Dimethyl phosphite     Ne Ni Br
Chromic acid                Pe Pvc Br                                                        Formaldehyde         Br Ni T V B
                                                    Dimethyl sulfide
                                                                           Res
1,8-cineole                 TV                      (methyl sulfide)                         Formamide            Br Nr

Cobalt (III)                                        Dimethyl sulfoxide                       Formic acid          Br Ne Pvc T S B
                            Br Ni                                          Br Ne T B
acetylacetonate                                     (DMSO)
                                                                                             Furfural             Br Pva S
p-cresol                    4H                      2,4-dinitrotoluene     S
                                                                                             G
Crystal violet              Br V                    1,3-dioxane            Br
                                                                                             Glutaraldehyde       Br Ne Nr Ni V Pvc
D                                                   E
                                                                                             H
DCM                         Br Ni                   Ethidium bromide       Ni Br
                                                                                             Heptane              Ni V 4H
3,4-dichloroaniline         B                       Ethyl acetate          4H B Res
                                                                                             Hexane               Ni PVA T V B
Dichlorobenzene             V                       Ethyl bromide          (Pva, V)
                                                                                             Hexachlorobenzene    Res Ty
Dichlorodimethylsilane 4H V                         Ethylenediamine        Br T S
                                                                                             Hexachloro-1,3-
                                                    Ethylene glycol                                               Res Ty
1,2-dichloroethane          Ty [Pva] [V]                                                     butadiene
                                                                           Br
                                                    dimethyl ether
Diethyl ether ("ether")     Pva T                                                            Hexachloroethane     Res Ty




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                                                                                               (MEK)
1-hexene                 TV                      L

Hydrazine                Br Ne Ni Pvc T V B      Lubricating oil           Nr Ne Ni V          Methyl ethyl ketone
                                                                                                                        V Ne Br
                                                                                               peroxide (MEKP)
Hydochloric acid         Br Nr Ne Ni Pvc T V B   M
                                                                                               Methyl glycol (methyl
                                                                                                                        Br 4H
                                                                                               cellosolve)
Hydrofluoric acid        Br B T S                Malathion                 T
                                                                                               Methyl isocyanate        Pva B
Hydrogen bromide         T                       Mercuric chloride         B
                                                                                               Methyl mercaptan         B
Hydrogen peroxide        Br Nr Ni Pe Pvc V       Mercury                   B
                                                                                               N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone Br 4H
I                                                Methanesulphonic acid Ne Pvc
                                                                                               Methyl trichlorosilane   V
Indole                   4H Res Ty               Methanol                  Br T V 4H
                                                                                               Morpholine               Br
Iodine                   Pe S                    1-methoxy-2-propanol      Br Ne 4H
                                                                                               N
Iodomethane              Br Ni                   Methyl acrylate           Pva T B
                                                                                               Naphtha (solvents)       Ni Pva 4H B
Iodomethane-d3           Br Ni                   Methylamine               Br Ne Ni T V
                                                                                               Nickel cyanide           Br
Isoamyl alcohol                                  2-methylbutane            Ni
                         Br Ne Ni V
(isopentyl alcohol)
                                                                                               Nickel (II) or (III) oxide Nr Pvc
                                                 Methyl tert-butyl ether   Ni PVA 4H B Res
Isobutanol (isobutyl
                         Br Ne Ni V 4H Res                                                     Nitric acid
alcohol)                                         Methylene chloride                                                     Pvc
                                                                           PVA T 4H B Res Ty   (concentrated)
                                                 (dichloromethane)
Isopentane               Ni
                                                 Methylethanolamine        V Br Ne
Isopropanol              Br Ni V 4H CPF3 Res
                                                 Methylethyl ketone        Br T




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Nitric acid 30-70%        Br Ne Pe Pvc V S                Propionaldehyde       Br                       Trichloroacetic acid    Ni

Nitric acid 30%           Br Nr Ne Ni Pe Pvc T S          Q                                              1,1,1-trichloroethane   Pva T V B

Nitric oxide              T                               Quinoline             Br                       1,1,2-trichloroethane   Pva T V

Nitrobenzene              Br Pva T V B                    S                                              Trichloroethylene       Pva T V 4H B Res Ty

O                                                         Sodium cyanide (solid) Nr Ne Ni Pvc            Triethanolamine         Br Nr Ne Ni

Octafluoroadipic acid     Br Nr                           Sodium fluoride       Nr Ni Ne Pvc             Triethylamine           Ni V

Oxalic acid               Br Nr Ne Ni Pvc V                                     Br Nr Ne Ni Pe PVC T V   Trimethylamine          T
                                                          Sodium hydroxide
                                                                                Sar Bar 4H Res
P                                                                                                        V
                                                          Sodium hypochlorite   Br Nr Ni Ne Pe V Res
2-pentanone               Br                                                                             Vinyl acetate           TB
                                                          Sodium silicate       Br Nr
Perchloric acid (ca.                                                                                     4-vinylcyclohexene      Ni V
                          Nr Ne Ni Pvc T
75%)                                                      Solvent naphtha       Ni Pva 4H B
                                                                                                         W
n-perfluoropentanoic                                      Sulfuryl chloride     Br Ni
                          Br Ne Ni Nr
acid                                                                                                     Water glass             Br Nr
                                                          Sulphuric acid        Br Nr Ne Pe Pvc T V B
Phenol                    Br Ne T V B                                                                    X
                                                          T
Phosgene                  T                                                                              Xylene                  Pva T V 4H B
                                                          1,1,2,2-
                                                                                Pva T V B Ty
Phosphorus trichloride T B                                tetrachloroethane

                          Ne Ni (for short periods, ca.   Tetrahydrofuran (THF) T B
Picric acid
                          1hour, only)
                                                          Toluene               Pva T V




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