Glove Chemical Compatibility Guide

Disposable gloves such as nitrile, latex, or rubber gloves are only compatible with certain chemicals. It is essential to select the right pair of gloves with the chemical you will be using to prevent personal exposure to your skin. Many glove manufacturers have data and resources available to consumers regarding the chemical compatibility of their products. Check the manufacturer’s website for chemical compatibility data on their specific products.

All glove materials have different penetration, permeation, and degradation ratings.

Penetration: The flow of chemicals through closures, seams, and pinholes. Commonly seen as leaks through the glove.

Degradation: Damaging change in material properties. Swelling, dissolving, and weight gain are some of the properties of the degradation of a disposable glove.

Permeation: The molecular movement of chemical through the glove material, also called diffusion.

Breakthrough time: When chemical is first detected on the other side of the glove material. This is a measure of permeation, often portrayed in minutes or seconds.

The following guide was developed from Ansell. The information presented here is believed to be accurate; however, we cannot guarantee its accuracy to all products available to researchers and employees. Many factors affect the breakthrough times of glove materials including, but not limited to:

  1. Thickness of glove material
  2. Concentration of the chemical worked with
  3. Amount of chemical the glove comes in contact with
  4. Length of time which the glove is exposed to the chemical
  5. Temperature at which the work is done
  6. Possibility of abrasion or puncture.

This information is provided as a guide to proper glove material selection. Glove performance varies between manufactures, so always consult the manufacturer to make sure you will have the right glove for your application.