Workers of car repair shops expose their hands to chemical factors (mineral oils, lubricants) and mechanical hazards (abrasions, cuts, and punctures). One of the ways to ensure safety is to use gloves protecting against both mechanical and chemical factors. Thus, it is crucial not only to select the right gloves, but also to predict when they may lose their protective properties.
The presented end-of-service-life study was carried out at CIOP-PIB according to our own test method simulating actual conditions of use. The method includes simultaneous exposure to mechanical factors (movements of the hand), chemical factors (mineral oil permeation and sweat secretion), and physical factors (humidity and temperature in the region between the glove and the hand). Changes in permeation resistance and selected strength and functional parameters after a certain time of contact with the aforementioned factors were assessed. The obtained results were then correlated with the protection levels defined in relevant standards and compared with those declared by manufacturers for new gloves. On that basis, an approximate time until loss of protective properties was determined for various types of protective gloves.
The procedure developed for assessing the service life of protective gloves can become a tool helping employers estimate the safe use time of gloves. This information may be then communicated to the workers. We are now working to validate this method according to good laboratory practice and EU requirements concerning labour health and safety.
Fot 1. Surface of knitted fabric acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR) protective gloves after usage in car repair shop.
Fot.2 SEM surface morphology of knitted fabric acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR) protective gloves after usage in car repair shop
1. Irzmańska E., Stefko A., Dyńska-Kukulska K., Factors influencing the end of the service life of protective gloves used in car repair shop: A preliminary report, Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health (online, DOI: 10.1080/19338244.2013.787963), in press
2. Irzmańska E., Dyńska-Kukulska K., Permeation of mineral oils through protective glove materials in view of literature data and authors’ own studies, Reviews in Analytical Chemistry, 31, 113–122 (2012)
Contact: Ph.D. (Eng.) Emilia Irzmańska, Department of Personal Protective Equipment, firstname.lastname@example.org