Swelling of four glove materials challenged by six metalworking fluids.

Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology (2007-08-08)
Wenhai Xu, Shane S Que Hee

The performance of protective gloves against metalworking fluids (MWFs) has rarely been studied because of the difficult chemical analysis associated with complex MWFs. In the present study, glove swelling was used as a screening parameter of glove compatibility after challenge of the outer surfaces of chloroprene, latex, nitrile, and vinyl disposable gloves by six MWF concentrates for 2 hours in an ASTM F-739-type permeation cell without collection medium. Swelling relative to original thickness was up to 39% for latex, 7.6% for chloroprene, and 3.5% for nitrile. Shrinking up to 9.3% occurred for vinyl. Chloroprene and latex did not swell significantly for the semisynthetic and synthetic MWFs. Vinyl, previously not tested, was a good candidate for MWFs other than the soluble oil type. Although nitrile was recommended by the National Institute for the Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for all types of MWFs, its swelling after 2-hour challenge was significant with Student t-tests for the soluble oil, synthetic, and semisynthetic MWFs. Glove swelling can be used as a screening chemical degradation method for mixtures such as MWFs with difficult chemical analysis. Further studies need to be conducted on the relationship between permeation and glove swelling.