Choosing the right chemical-resistant gloves is an important decision among cleaning professionals. The selection process can, at times, be tough, with many brands on the market.
“Some distributors or manufacturers will provide samples of their gloves,” notes Vicky Adams, category manager for safety, gloves, and foodservice products for Impact Products. “Wear the gloves; make sure they are as comfortable as they are protective.”
Adams offers some more tips:
- Know the types of chemicals and chemical ingredients you are working with.
- Review the chemical’s Safety Data Sheets to know what ingredients may be potentially harmful.
- Chemical-resistant gloves are generally made of latex, Nitrile, Neoprene and PVC. Use a “chemical resistance chart” provided by some glove manufacturers to determine which material will work best with which chemical ingredients.
- Consider the dexterity of the glove; this refers to how easy the glove is to work with.
- Look for gloves that are puncture- and snag-resistant. A snag can catch on an object and cause the glove to tear.
- Determine the needed length of the glove. Long-sleeve gloves, often recommended when working with chemicals, are designed to fit over the hand and up to the elbow.
- Select the right-size glove by measuring at the fullest part of the hand, not including the thumb. Chemical-resistant gloves typically come in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large.
- Selecting the incorrect chemical-resistant gloves can result in permeation when a chemical passes through the glove. Breakthrough is defined as the time between initial contact of the chemical with the outside surface of the glove and the time at which it is detected. Degradation is when glove properties change due to chemical contact.
- OSHA’s Standard 29 CFR provides employers with guidelines as to appropriate hand protection.
- Test the glove.