Ansell Healthcare Europe announces conclusive results of independent lab tests of the performance of its chemical splash resistant Touch N Tuff gloves. These tests demonstrate the superior protection provided by Ansell Touch N Tuff gloves in response to EU regulation on the protection of workers from chemical substances. Specifically designed for production employees who are at risk from chemical splashes in the workplace, the nitrile Touch N Tuff has been extensively tested against a wide variety of hazardous industrial chemicals by the independent laboratory Centexbel.
The results have shown a high level of protection for chemicals from nine families for these single-use gloves. The industries which use these hazardous chemicals include chemicals and cosmetics manufacturing, automotive production, laboratories and pharmaceutical industries, as well as food processing, dry cleaning, cleaning products, inks and dyes. The gloves’ 100% nitrile composition is highly recommended against the aliphatic hydrocarbons present in lubricants.
According to EU OSHA, 16% of European workers handle hazardous products. It has been estimated that some 32 million European workers are exposed to unsafe levels of chemical exposure. Exposure to hazardous chemicals can result in cancer, brain damage, harm to the nervous system, asthma and skin problems such as dermatitis or allergies. The toxicity of certain chemicals can also affect the ability to reproduce or cause birth defects. The harm done by dangerous substances can occur from a single short exposure or by the long-term accumulation of substances in the body. Adequate skin protection against liquid chemicals can help to avoid the local effects engendered by an accidental chemical splash, as well as the ensuing systemic or acute effects.
After risk assessment, EU legislation advocates the elimination or substitution of hazardous or dangerous situations. If elimination or substitution are not possible, then all necessary steps should be taken to protect workers from the hazards by introducing measures such as personal protective equipment, and where possible at collective level.
The current Council Directives 98/24/EC and 90/394/EEC on chemical agents and carcinogens concern all European industries. Recently voted by the European Parliament, the new REACH legislation and authorisation system gives greater responsibility to industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances produced. Authorisation will be required of producers for substances belonging to specific groups: CMRs category 1 and 2 (carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction), PBTs (persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic), vPvBs (very persistent and very bio-accumulative) and other substances identified as causing serious and irreversible effects on humans and the environment. The additional information available to industry will likely result in many companies re-examining their safety procedures in order to protect their workers from the risk of accidental or sustained exposure to chemicals.
With enhanced safety data sheets about the chemicals which pose a hazard to workers, selecting the safest, best performing glove for a job has become more important than ever before, and this in virtually all industries. Manufactured from 100% nitrile, Ansell’s Touch N Tuff glove offers four times the puncture resistance of comparable natural-latex gloves, and three times the resistance of similar neoprene gloves. Chemical permeation testing by an independent certified laboratory (Centexbel, Belgium), has confirmed that Touch N Tuff offers high levels of protection compared to ten competing products. Touch N Tuff ranked first or second for eight out of nine key chemicals from the principal chemical families. These included xylene, acetic acid, ethanol, perchloroethylene, triethylene, isopropanol, hydrochloric acid, ammonium hydroxide and cyclohexanone.
Because Touch N Tuff is made from nitrile, it effectively eliminates the risk of allergies to latex proteins (Type I) for the wearer, and has shown no evidence of risk from irritation or Type IV allergies. They are even suitable for food contact.
The Touch N Tuff is a single use glove which is flexible and easy to don. The form of the glove has been specially studied to optimise wearing comfort. Workers get a clean, never-worn glove each time they need to mix chemicals, pull racks and frames, empty overflows, work with hazardous waste recovery or clean up spills. With Touch N Tuff, Ansell offers a veritable “insurance policy” against accidental exposure to chemicals.