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March 1, 2021
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Chemical-Resistant Gloves

Chemical-resistant gloves are made with different kinds of rubber, such as neoprene or nitrile, or various types of plastic, such as polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene. In general, the thicker the glove material, the greater the chemical resistance. Types of chemical-resistant gloves include the following:

  • Butyl Gloves are made of synthetic rubber and protect against a number of chemicals such as peroxide, highly corrosive acids (nitric, sulfuric, hydrofluoric), strong bases (sodium hydroxide), alcohols, and ketones. Butyl gloves also resist oxidation and abrasion.

  • Natural (latex) rubber gloves are a popular general-purpose glove due to their comfort. They have good tensile strength, elasticity, and temperature resistance. These gloves protect the hands from acid water solutions, alkalis, salts, and ketones.

  • Neoprene Gloves are made of synthetic rubber and offer good pliability, finger dexterity, high density, and tear resistance. They offer superior protection over natural rubber. They protect the hands against hydraulic fluids, gasoline, alcohols, organic acids, and alkalis.

  • Nitrile Gloves are made of a copolymer and provide protection from chlorinated solvents. They often are used for jobs requiring dexterity and sensitivity. Nitrile gloves stand up to heavy use for prolonged exposure that often cause other gloves to deteriorate. They offer good protection when working with oils, greases, acids, caustics, and alcohols but are not recommended for use with strong oxidizing agents, solvents, ketones, and acetates.

Always remember to select the appropriate glove for the type of chemical hazard present. For more information, please reference the Chemical Resistance Selection Chart for Protective Gloves on pages 26-29 of OSHA Personal Protect Equipment Manual at osha.gov.


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Source: Joe Mlynek is president of Progressive Safety Services LLC, Port Clinton, OH: joe.mlynek@progressivesafety.us, and content creator for Safety Made Simple Inc., Olathe, KS; joe@safetymadesimple.com.

 
 

 

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