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A breakthrough time comparison of nitrile and neoprene glove materials produced by different glove manufacturers.

Mickelsen RL; Hall RC
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1987 Nov; 48(11):941-947
The elapsed time between initial contact of a hazardous liquid chemical with the outside surface of protective glove materials and the time at which the chemical could be detected at the inside surface (breakthrough time) was determined for products of different glove manufacturers. Eight nitrile and five neoprene glove products of close to the same nominal thickness were exposed to chemicals. A flow rate of air of 200 cubic centimeters per minute was maintained through the test cell. Breakthrough time was determined using a photoionization detector. The ranges of mean breakthrough times for the eight nitrile products for perchloroethylene (127184) ranged from 30 to 300 minutes (min), indicating large variation in chemical resistance for products carrying the same generic name. Breakthrough times for p-xylene (106423) and n-butyl-acetate (123864) on nitrile gloves also showed variations, as did breakthrough times for the five neoprene products tested with n- butyl-acetate, n-hexane (110543), and ethanol (64175). All but one glove product showed differences between mean measured thickness (21 samples) and nominal thickness, ranging up to 40 percent difference. There was a tendency for degree of resistance to be relatively consistent between glove products for different chemicals tested, although the number of chemicals was small. The authors conclude that there is a significant difference in chemical breakthrough times among generically similar products of different manufacturers, so that substituting a generically equivalent glove for a glove that has been shown to protect the worker may lead to unexpected exposures.
NIOSH-Author; Protective-clothing; Gloves; Materials-testing; Hand-protection; Occupational-hazards; Organic-solvents; Industrial-hygiene; Diffusion-analysis
127-18-4; 106-42-3; 123-86-4; 110-54-3; 64-17-5
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American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division