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4 Nice Tricks to Guard Your self!

Gloves are a staple piece of private protecting tools within the lab. However have you learnt which kind of glove is true to your utility? Try our lab glove choice information!

Gloves shield your pores and skin (and infrequently the remainder of you) from the quite a few hazards lurking in labs, from poisonous chemical substances and scorching glassware to toothy mice. That will help you keep secure, we’ll evaluation the various lab glove sorts and their suitability, together with some issues and high suggestions for glove security.

So Many Lab Glove Varieties for So Many Hazards

Science has but to provide us the right glove that protects in opposition to each hazard, on a regular basis. That places the onus on scientists to determine what glove finest protects them for the duty at hand. However don’t fear—you’re not alone!

Speak together with your Environmental Well being & Security workplace, try our helpful fast lab glove choice information, and evaluation your choices under in Desk 1.

Desk 1: A fast lab glove choice information.

Cumbersome and never proof against hydrocarbons

Protects in opposition to chilly, however not from contact with liquid nitrogen. Don’t submerge

Organic supplies and water-based supplies

No safety in opposition to natural solvents.

Could produce allergic response from sustained use

Many acids, solvents, oils. Good for dealing with slippery materials

Not proof against some hydrocarbons

Organic supplies, many acids, bases, oil and abrasions

Not proof against some acids or chlorinated solvents

Aromatics, chlorinated solvents and aliphatics

Acids, bases, oils and amines

Not proof against natural solvents

Chlorinated aliphatic and fragrant solvents

Not appropriate with keytones

All the time verify the specs to your model of gloves as suitability might differ.

Butyl Gloves

These thick, reusable gloves are made out of artificial rubber, making them proof against weathering and plenty of chemical substances like ketones and esters. Nonetheless, their thickness makes them cumbersome and might result in dreaded sweaty gloved palms! In addition they aren’t proof against hydrocarbons like gasoline.

Cryo Gloves

These blue, insulated material gloves are made by Tempshield. Whereas they shield you in opposition to frostbite from temporary contact with super-cold supplies, you shouldn’t immerse them straight into liquid nitrogen!

Latex Gloves

Constructed from pure rubber, latex gloves are skinny, versatile, and good for working with organic and water-based supplies. However they don’t shield in opposition to most chemical substances (particularly natural solvents), and it’s troublesome to note after they’ve ripped. Even worse, they might be unhealthy to your well being (see Helpful Tip 3 under)!

Neoprene Gloves

Constructed from artificial rubber, neoprene resists put on and plenty of chemical substances (however not some hydrocarbons). Due to their thickness, they’re really helpful for dealing with caustic chemical substances.

Nitrile Gloves

These disposable gloves are good for temporary contact with solvents, greases, and a few acids and bases (though they don’t shield in opposition to chlorinated solvents or corrosive/oxidizing acids). Not like latex, they don’t set off allergy symptoms, and it’s simpler to identify put on and tear.

Nomex Gloves

These thick, flame-resistant gloves are good for dealing with pyrophoric supplies (however don’t stick them straight into a hearth—they’re resistant, not invulnerable!).

Polyvinyl Alcohol Gloves

This polymer is proof against many natural solvents however is susceptible to water!

Polyvinyl Chloride Gloves

Gloves constructed from this polymer are good for resisting acids, bases, oils, peroxides, and amines. In addition they shield in opposition to abrasions. Nonetheless, they’re not appropriate with natural solvents—the plasticizers within the glove might even leach into the solvent!

Viton Gloves

These thick, reusable gloves are made by DuPont. Whereas they’re nice at resisting chlorinated and fragrant solvents and defending you from cuts and abrasions, they’re costly and incompatible with ketones.

4 Helpful Suggestions for Good Glove Follow

Whereas gloves can appear to be second nature to a scientist, there are methods you may increase your glove security to maintain you and your lab mates secure.

Tip 1: Double-gloving Can Be Useful (however Imperfect!)

Whereas no glove protects you in opposition to every little thing, generally layering gloves over one another (double-gloving) helps shield you in opposition to extra hazards.

Double-gloving with two thinner, extra versatile gloves can also be safer whenever you want advantageous dexterity close to a hazard that usually requires a cumbersome glove or whenever you wish to quadruple the period of time it takes a chemical to interrupt via a glove.

Double-gloving is an efficient possibility, too, when you could have to take away an outer glove that’s turn into contaminated whereas nonetheless holding your palms protected—that is how I shield myself when dealing with nanomaterials.

Tip 2: Liquid Nitrogen Can Nonetheless Harm You!

Don’t ever totally immerse your palms (or some other physique half) in liquid nitrogen, even in the event you’re sporting gloves! Cryogenic gloves shield you in opposition to incidental contacts, such because the small splashes that will offer you frostbite.

Make sure that your cryogenic gloves are loose-fitting, so in the event you do get splashed, you may yank these gloves off shortly earlier than the liquid nitrogen freezes your pores and skin. And don’t put on cotton or different absorbent gloves beneath the cryogenic gloves. Cotton will take in the liquid nitrogen and freeze to your pores and skin!

Learn our associated article for recommendations on liquid nitrogen security.

Tip 3: Latex Is Irritating!

Latex gloves have pure rubber proteins that may have an effect on you and others. They’ll act as a contact irritant, which is one thing that provides you with itchy, pink pores and skin even in the event you’re not allergic. For individuals who are allergic, latex can irritate the pores and skin and even the sinuses and airways as a result of the proteins can turn into airborne. Unsurprisingly, nitrile gloves are often really helpful as a substitute of latex gloves!

Tip 4: Good Glove Etiquette Retains You and Others Protected and Completely satisfied

Even in case you are sporting the most effective gloves potential for dealing with your lab hazard, you could possibly nonetheless be committing a sin in opposition to lab security (and etiquette). All the time deal with your gloves like they’re contaminated, and don’t put on them whenever you’re touching widespread surfaces that others might contact bare-handed (e.g., doorknobs, gentle switches, keyboards, and many others.).

Lab Glove Choice Information Summarized

Gloves could also be sweaty and cumbersome, however these little bits of nitrile, rubber, and flame-resistant polymers will assist shield you from the various hazards of lab work! To study extra about gloves, please try the hyperlinks under, and seize a duplicate of our eBook: The Bitesize Bio Information to Lab Security.


  1. Nationwide Academies of Science. Prudent Practices within the Laboratory: Hand Safety. [Accessed 24 August 2022]
  2. Nationwide Academies of Science. Working with Nanoparticles. [Accessed 24 August 2022]
  3. Nationwide Institute for Occupational Security and Well being. Latex Allergy: A Prevention Information. [Accessed 24 August 2022]
  4. Princeton College Environmental Well being & Security. Gloves. [Accessed 24 August 2022]

Initially printed January 2015. Reviewed and up to date December 2022.

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