U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Logo Exhibit 4, 241 FW 3
Selection Guide for Gloves
FWM#: 442  (Supersedes Appendix 2, 241 FW 3, 03/24/92, FWM 018)
Date:   March 19, 2004
Series:Occupational Safety and Health
Part 241: Safety Operations
Originating Office: Division of Safety and Health

 PDF Version

This guide describes the most common types of protective work gloves and the types of hazards they guard against.

1. Disposable Gloves. Usually made of light-weight plastic. They can help guard against mild irritants.

2. Fabric Gloves. Made of cotton or fabric blend. They are generally used to help improve your grip when handling slippery objects. They also help insulate your hands from mild heat or cold.

3. Leather Gloves. Used to guard against injuries from sparks or scraping against rough surfaces. You should use them in combination with an insulated liner if you are working with electricity.

3. Chemical Resistance Gloves. May be made of rubber, neoprene, polyvinyl alcohol or vinyl, etc. They protect your hands from corrosives, oils, and solvents.

4. Metal Mesh Gloves. Used to protect your hands from accidental cuts and scratches. They are used most commonly by persons working with cutting tools or other sharp instruments.

5. Aluminized Gloves. Made of aluminized fabric. They are designed to insulate your hands from intense heat. These gloves are most commonly used by persons working with molten materials.

The following tables are guides to the different types of glove materials and the chemicals they will protect you against. Note1: When you are selecting chemical resistance gloves, be sure to consult the manufacturer's recommendations, especially if your gloved hand will be immersed in the chemical. Note2: Latex gloves are known to cause allergic reactions to individuals donning the gloves. Please substitute another appropriate non-latex glove from the attached chart and replace it.

Glove Chart

Type Advantages Disadvantages Use Against
Natural Rubber Low cost, good physical properties, dexterity Poor against oils, greases, organics. Frequently imported; may be poor quality Bases, alcohols, dilute water solutions; fair against aldehydes, ketones
Natural rubber blends Low cost, dexterity, better chemical resistance than natural rubber against some chemicals Physical properties frequently inferior to natural rubber Bases, alcohols, dilute water solutions; fair against aldehydes, ketones

chloride (PVC)

Low cost, very good physical properties, medium cost, medium chemical resistance Plasticizers can be stripped; frequently imported may be poor quality Stong acids and bases, salts, other water solutions, alcohols
Neoprene Medium cost, medium chemical resistance, medium physical properties
Oxidizing acids, anilines, phenol, glycol ethers
Nitrile Low cost, excellent physical properties, dexterity Poor against benzene, methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, many ketones Oils, greases, aliphatic chemicals, xylene, perchloroethylene, trichloroethane; fair against toluene
Butyl Speciality glove, polar organics Expensive, poor against hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents Glycol ethers, ketones, esters
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) Specialty glove, resists a very broad range of organics, good physical properties Very expensive, water sensitive, poor against light alcohols Aliphatics, aromatics, chlorinated solvents, ketones (except acetone), esters, ethers
Fluoroelastomer (Viton)* Specialty glove, organic solvents Extremely expensive, poor physical properties, poor against some ketones, esters, amines Aromatics, chlorinated solvents, also aliphatics and alcohols
Norfoil (Silver Shield) Excellent chemical resistance Poor fit, easily punctures, poor grip, stiff Use for Hazmat work

*Trademark of DuPont Dow Elastomers

Glove Type and Chemical Use

*Limited service VG = Very Good G = Good F = Fair P = Poor (not recommended)

Chemical Neoprene Natural Rubber Butyl Nitrile
*Acetaldehyde VG G VG G
Acetic acid VG VG VG VG
*Acetone G VG VG P
Ammonium hydroxide VG VG VG VG
*Amyl acetate F P F P
Aniline G F F P
*Benzaldehyde F F G G
*Benzene F F F P
Butyl acetate G F F P
Butyl alcohol VG VG VG VG
Carbon disulfide F F F F
*Carbon tetrachloride F P P G
Castor oil F P F VG
*Chlorobenzene F P F P
*Chloroform G P P P
Chloronaphthalene F P F F
Cromic Acid (50%) F P F F
Citric acid (10%) VG VG VG VG
Cyclohexanol G F G VG
*Dibutyl phthalate G P G G
Diesel fuel G P P VG
Diisobutyl ketone P F G P
Dimethylfomamide F F G G
Dioctyl phthalate G P F VG
Dioxane VG G G G
Epoxy resins, dry VG VG VG VG
*Ethyl acetate G F G F
Ethyl alcohol VG VG VG VG
Ethyl ether VG G VG G
*Ethylene dichloride F P F P
Ethylene glycol VG VG VG VG
Formaldehyde VG VG VG VG
Formic acid VG VG VG VG
Freon 11 G P F G
Freon 12 G P F G
Freon 21 G P F G
Freon 22 G P F G
*Furfural G G G G
Gasoline, leaded G P F VG
Gasoline, unleaded G P F VG
Glycerine VG VG VG VG
Hexane F P P G
Hydrochloric acid VG G G G
Hydrofluoric acid (48%) VG G G G
Hydrogen peroxide (30%) G G G G
Hydroquinone G G G F
Isooctane F P P VG
Isopropyl alcohol VG VG VG VG
Kerosene VG F F VG
Ketones G VG VG P
Lacquer thinners G F F P
Lactic acid (85%) VG VG VG VG
Lauric acid 36 % VG F VG VG
Lineoleic acid VG P F G
Linseed oil VG P F VG
Maleic acid VG VG VG VG
Methyl alcohol VG VG VG VG
Methylamine F F G G
Methyl bromide G F G F
*Methyl chloride P P P P
*Methyl ethyl ketone G G VG P
*Methyl isobutyl ketone F F VG P
Methyl methacrylate G G VG F
Monoethanolamine VG G VG VG
Morpholine VG VG VG G
Naphthalene G F F G
Naphthas, aliphatic VG F F VG
Naphthas, aromatic G P P G
*Nitric acid G F F F
Nitromethane (95.5%) F P F F
Nitropropane (95.5%) F P F F
Octyl alcohol VG VG VG VG
Oleic acid VG F G VG
Oxalic acid VG VG VG VG
Palmitic acid VG VG VG VG
Perchloric acid (60%) VG F G G
Perchloroethylene F P P G
Petroleum distillates (naphtha) G P P VG
Phenol VG F G F
Phosphoric acid VG G VG VG
Potassium hydroxide VG VG VG VG
Propyl acetate G F G F
Propyl alcohol VG VG VG VG
Propyl alcohol (iso) VG VG VG VG
Sodium hydroxide VG VG VG VG
Styrene P P P F
Stryene (100%) P P P F
Sulfuric acid G G G G
Tannic acid (65%) VG VG VG VG
Tetrahydrofuran P F F F
*Toluene F P P F
Toluene diisocyanate F G G F
*Trichloroethylene F F P G
Triethanolamine VG G G VG
Tung oil VG P F VG
Turpentine G F F VG
*Xylene P P P F

For information on the specific contents of this exhiit contact the Division of Safety and Health.  For additional information regarding this Web page, contact Krista Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management, at Krista_Bibb@fws.gov.  
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