For those who work in healthcare, manufacturing, or skilled trades, the type of gloves you wear while “on the job” can have a huge impact on the health and safety of yourself and others.
A pertinent example of this is in the case of gloves conducting electricity. Those who work as electricians, in factories handling conductive metals, or in cleanrooms in the electronics, nanotechnology and semiconductor industries, must be careful to control electrostatic discharge that may come from their gloves. It is also imperative that healthcare providers choose the right type of gloves when administering cardiac defibrillation procedures to avoid feeling electric shock.
So, the question is: what type of gloves are best for limiting static discharge?
When selecting gloves for situations where static discharge could harm the patient or product, or where static could lead to contamination, nitrile gloves are the preferred choice.
Why are nitrile gloves less conductive?
Gloves made from natural rubber latex are inherently static insulative, holding on to a charge and releasing it in an uncontrolled manner, leading to damage. However, the surface resistance of nitrile gloves is normally on the border of insulative and static dissipative. To be considered static dissipative, the glove should have a surface resistance of more than 1 x 105 but less than 1 x 1011 ohms/sq.
How is resistance of a glove measured?
There are two common methods that researchers use to measure the resistance of a glove. The first is to put the glove on a metal hand and lay it on a piece of sheet metal to measure the resistance. The second method is to fill the glove with saline and put an electrode in it, then placing the glove assembly in a saline bath with an electrode to measure the resistance between the two electrodes.
What are proper guidelines for staying safe?
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides rules and regulations for the use of personal protective equipment. Individual states, cities, or organizations may have additional guidelines for the use of gloves or other equipment for personal protection against static discharge.
Have questions about nitrile gloves, static discharge, or anything else related to this topic? Please reach out and let us know!