Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nitrile Gloves Are Not The Universal Glove!

Looks like it's time to review the choices for rubber gloves in the lab again. Just a few minutes ago on twitter, there was this conversation:
This is endlessly maddening to me:"...nitrile. So they are good except in contact with strong oxidizers (nitric acid!)..."

Not that is absolutely incorrect. As I've written in the past, "Any given rubber glove will be attacked by some solvents and not others. Is that so surprising?".

That same post has links to glove manufacturer's sites where they have recommendations for what you can and cannot expose their gloves to. The Ansell site for instance, recommends against using nitrile gloves for exposure to
  • acetaldehyde
  • acetone
  • analine
  • benzaldehyde
  • benzene
  • γ-butyrolactone
  • chlorobenzene
  • chloroform
  • chloronapthlanene
  • chlorotoluene
  • ethylene dichloride
  • dimethylacetamide
  • dimethylformamide
  • 1,4-dioxane
  • epichlorohydrin
  • ethyl acetate
  • furfural
  • methyl bromide
  • methyl chloride
  • methylene bis(4-phenylisocyanate)
  • methyl ethyl ketone
  • methyl iodide
  • methyl methacrylate
  • N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone
  • morpholoine
  • nitorbenzene
  • nitropropane (both isomers
  • phenol
  • propylene oxide
  • pyridine
  • silicon etch
  • Skydrol 500B-4
  • styrene
  • sulfuric acid
  • sulfur dichloride
  • trichloroethylene
  • Vetrel SMT
  • and as noted in the Tweet, nitric acid.
That list is quite a bit longer than just the nitric acid that was noted.

Please, please, please, don't just assume that nitrile gloves are the glove of choice. These charts have been put together for a reason - to protect you, but they are useless if not referred to. The links are freely available, so find whatever charts you need, print them out and refer to them often.

Nitrile gloves are not the universal glove. To pass on as reliable information that they are safe is to risk the health of anyone reading or hearing that. We can do better than that.


Anonymous said...

Nitrile gloves are the gloves of choice in medical and tattoo parlors alike because they can be resistant to punctures from needles. Not to protect from chemicals generally.

Just to reiterate, when doing lab work of ANY KIND, you should assess all hazards (mechanical, chemical, etc) and choose your protetive gear (including gloves) based off of the assessment!

long time chemical hygiene officer in a government lab

Anonymous said...

I've been selling gloves for over 25 years and seen most of them, very mis-leading info on Nitrile, the puncture resistance is different than latex but not always better, both have their places and Natural Latex remains the only bio-degradable glove product in the market, a huge issue when you add up the billions used annually worldwide. Latex is a much better product than it was 20 years ago when all the allergy problems arose from the high protein levels which are diminished these days to almost nothing. Glove choice is ALWAYS a personal choice and NItrile certainly doesn't solve all issues for all people. We sell more Black Latex than Black NItrile! Latex fits better and has better tactile feel, most professional Tattoo artists still prefer Latex for this reason.