To help users in their risk assessments for evaluating personal protection to chemical exposure, SHIELD Scientific has developed one of the most comprehensive chemical resistance guides. Data can be selected either by CAS number, chemical name or product type.  The testing has been conducted by reputable testing laboratories (Respirex, Proqares & Centexbel), according to EN 16523-1:2015 (Determination of material resistance to permeation by chemicals – Part 1: permeation by liquid chemical under conditions of continuous contact). This standard supersedes EN 374-3:2003. However we would like to stress that all of our gloves are disposable thin gauge gloves designed for light chemical protection.

EN 16523-1:2015 is the standard method in Europe for evaluating the chemical barrier performance of a glove. As such one layer of the glove is placed between two chambers. The chemical being tested is placed on one side and a receiving fluid on the other. Breakthrough occurs when a permeation rate of 1µg/cm²/min is noted and is reported in minutes. Test results must be within 20% of the mean average of the three glove samples tested. The lowest score is reported.  If not, gloves must be re-tested. It should be noted that this test is a total immersion test and may not be representative of the environment, where disposable gloves are used. Here the emphasis is typically on incidental chemical exposure and the gloves will often be changed once a chemical splash has been observed. It is also important to remember that the tests are done on unused gloves under laboratory conditions. In this respect the test temperature is 23°C (+/-1°C). The test methodology does not take into account the stresses and strains to which disposable gloves are subjected whilst being worn. Similarly a glove in-use is likely to be significantly warmer than an unused glove and the higher level of surface heat may accelerate chemical permeation.
An important additional consideration when assessing the chemical resistance properties of gloves is degradation. According to EN 374-1:2003, degradation relates to the “deleterious change in one or more properties of a protective glove material due to contact with a chemical. These changes include flaking, swelling, disintegration, embrittlement, discolouration, dimensions, appearance, hardening, softening etc”. Resistance to degradation can now be measured by a recently published standard EN 374-4:2013. The new degradation test is based on puncture resistance, whilst the glove is in continuous contact with the chemical. The amount of force that is required to puncture the glove sample with a stylus is recorded. At the end of the one hour exposure period, degradation is expressed as a percentage change in puncture resistance (between the unexposed and exposed test specimens). As yet the minimum performance requirements for degradation have not been released, whilst information on how the measurement of degradation will interface with those for penetration and permeation is still lacking. The importance of degradation in reducing the protective properties of gloves is particularly relevant to the more corrosive chemicals. As such an assessment of degradation is likely to become a compulsory test for gloves offering protection to chemicals.
Whilst we have endeavoured to show most of the test data that is currently available, the chemical resistance guide is constantly being updated. Likewise we have chosen not to include data that may be of a very specialist nature (e.g. testing against various chemotherapy drugs). Therefore if you cannot find the chemical test data that you are seeking, please do not hesitate to contact us.

DISCLAIMER: The data provided was based on gloves tested under laboratory conditions, in accordance with EN 374-3:2003.  The information is for guidance only and may not reflect the user’s application. A risk assessment should always be made by purchaser to  assess the suitability of gloves for a specific application.


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