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Gloves: Choose and Use Guide

The chemical resistance of gloves is one of the most important factors in selecting a glove. Other factors include the need for sensitivity of touch (dexterity), potential of allergic reactions, and puncture resistance. In general the thinner the glove, the less resistance to long-term chemical exposure.

Common glove materials and their suggested uses are:

  • Rubber (Latex) - Resists many acids and bases, alcohols and inorganic salt solutions. Protection is only fair for ketones such as acetone and aldehydes. Provides the best protection against mineral acids as a group, especially nitric acid.

CAUTION: If latex allergy is suspected or known, switch to nitrile or neoprene gloves.

  • Synthetic Rubber (Neoprene and Nitrile) - Good resistance to oils, bases, acids and most alcohols. Nitrile is not recommended for nitric or hydrofluoric acid (use neoprene instead). Both types are not recommended for aromatic solvents such as toluene or chlorinated solvents. Neoprene is less resistant to cuts, punctures and abrasions than nitrile or natural rubber.
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) - Best for splash protection only, not for constant contact. Not recommended for aldehydes or chlorinated solvents. PVC gloves offer reasonable abrasion resistance, but are more susceptible to cuts than other types of gloves.
  • Butyl - A synthetic rubber material with high permeation resistance to vapors. Ideal for use with ketones and esters.