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Exhibit 4, 241 FW 3
Glove Selection Guide

Supersedes Exhibit 4, 241 FW 3, 3/19/04

Date: February 4, 2019

Series: Occupational Safety and Health

Part 241: Safety Operations

Originating Office: Division of Safety and Health

PDF Version


Use this checklist to choose the appropriate type of protective glove for the specific task.


What to do

How to do it

1. Identify the hazards of the material(s) with which you will be working

A. Base selection of glove type and material on the type of exposure and nature of the hazard. Some chemicals can easily penetrate gloves that work very well for other chemicals.

Consider these factors:

        Chemical type

        Temperature extremes, cryogenic properties

        Physical hazards (sharps, piercing objects)



        Infectious potential of biological hazards


B. Read the Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for each chemical involved.

2. Determine if you'll have incidental or extended contact with the hazardous materials

A. Incidental contact (little or no direct contact with the hazardous material) includes these situations:


        Accidental spills or splashes

        Accidental overspray from a dispensing device

        Handling infectious agents that require barrier protection

        To prevent contamination of materials during handling


If you will have incidental contact, go to Step 3.


B. Extended contact includes these situations:

        Handling highly contaminated materials

        Submerging hands in a chemical or other hazardous substance

        Need for physical protection from temperature extremes or sharp/piercing objects


If you will have extended contact, go to Step 4.

3. For incidental contact, follow these selection guidelines

A. Disposable, surgical-type gloves are appropriate for incidental contact.

B. Nitrile gloves are preferred over latex because of their chemical resistance, their tendency to visibly rip when punctured, and to prevent possible latex allergies.


See the Glove Selection Chart below for advantages and disadvantages of commonly used surgical-type gloves.


C. Disposable glove usage:

        Check for rips or punctures before use.

        Remove and replace gloves immediately with new ones when a chemical spills or splashes on them.

        Never wash or reuse disposable gloves.

        Always remove gloves before touching common objects such as doorknobs, phones, or elevator buttons.


4. For extended contact, follow these guidelines

A. More substantial gloves are required for extended use.


Norfoil gloves are recommended for highly toxic materials and materials that are absorbed through the skin.


See the Glove Selection Chart below for advantages and disadvantages of commonly used gloves for extended contact.


B. Reusable glove usage: Many gloves intended for extended contact are reusable.

        Check the gloves for:

-       Rips or punctures before and after each use,

-       Prior contamination, and

-       Signs of degradation (change in color or texture).

                  Replace gloves as soon as signs of degradation appear.

                  Wash after removal and air dry.

                  Consider wearing inner surgical gloves for extra protection.

5. Dispose of used and damaged gloves according to whether or not they are contaminated with a hazardous material

Follow the appropriate guidelines below:


        No contamination: Place in regular trash.

        Chemical contamination: Ensure you review the SDS for proper disposal. Gloves with many types of chemical contamination can be disposed of in regular trash. 

        Biohazardous materials: Gloves contaminated with biohazards must be disposed as biohazardous waste. This is normally a red bag labeled as biohazard. 

        ALWAYS wash your hands after removing gloves.



Glove Comparison Chart


Consult this chart for an overview of commonly used glove types and their general advantages and disadvantages. Note: These photos are examples. Glove colors and appearances will vary. Many other models are commercially available in each glove category.


Glove material

Intended use

Advantages and disadvantages

Example Photos

Latex (natural rubber)

Incidental contact

Good for biological and water-based materials.

Poor for organic solvents.

Little chemical protection.

Hard to detect puncture holes.

Can cause or trigger latex allergies.

Note: Please ensure people are notified you are using latex gloves due to allergies. We recommend that you stay away from latex gloves for responding to medical emergencies.

Photo of latex gloves


Incidental contact (disposable exam glove)

Extended contact (thicker reusable glove)

Excellent general use glove. Good for solvents, oils, greases, and some acids and bases.

Clear indication of tears and breaks.

Good alternative for those with latex allergies.

Photo of nitrile gloves

Butyl rubber

Extended contact

Good for ketones and esters.
Poor for gasoline and aliphatic, aromatic, and halogenated hydrocarbons.

Photo of butyl rubber gloves


Extended contact

Good for acids, bases, alcohols, fuels, peroxides, hydrocarbons, and phenols.

Poor for halogenated and aromatic hydrocarbons.

Good for most hazardous chemicals.

Photo of neoprene gloves


Extended contact

Good for most hazardous chemicals.

Poor fit (Note: Dexterity can be partially regained by using a heavier weight Nitrile glove over the Norfoil/Silver Shield glove.)

Photo of norfoil gloves


Extended contact

Good for chlorinated and aromatic solvents.

Good resistance to cuts and abrasions.

Poor for ketones.


Photo of viton gloves

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Specific use

Good for acids, bases, oils, fats, peroxides, and amines.

Good resistance to abrasions.

Poor for most organic solvents.

Photo of PVC gloves

Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)

Specific use

Good for aromatic and chlorinated solvents.

Poor for water-based solutions.

Photo of PVA gloves

Stainless steel





Specific use

Cut-resistant gloves.


Sleeves are also available to provide protection to wrists and forearms.


If potential for biological or chemical contamination: wear appropriate disposable gloves on top of your cut-resistant gloves and discard after use.

Split leather cow hide leather gloves are best for handling large (40g to 100g) bats to prevent bites.


Deer skin leather gloves are recommended for handling small to midsize bats (4g - 40g) to prevent bites.


Goat skin leather gloves are recommended for small bats (5g 15g) to prevent bites.


Photo of white cut-resistant gloves


A pair of yellow gloves

Description automatically generated with low confidence


Photo of yellow sleeve

Cryogenic Resistant Material


Specific use

For use with cryogenic materials.

Designed to prevent frostbite. Note: Never dip gloves directly into liquid nitrogen.

Photo of cryogenic resistant gloves


Additional Resources

Use these additional resources for information on specific chemicals or glove materials. Listing and linking to the websites below is not an endorsement of any particular product or company, but instead is intended to provide additional technical information.

Chemical compatibility and permeation charts:

        AnsellPro Chemical Glove Resistance Guide

        U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Guidance for Pesticide Use

Vendor websites:

        Fisher Scientific


        Kimberly-Clark Professional

        MAPA Professional

        Best Glove Selection Tool


Latex information:

        NIOSH Alert: Preventing Allergic Reactions to Natural Latex Rubber in the Workplace (June 1997)

        NIOSH's Latex Allergy Prevention Guide

Other types of personal protective equipment (PPE):

        Cole-Palmer Instrument Co. Chemical Compatibility Search Page

        NIOSH Recommendations for Chemical Protective Clothing

Bat handling:

Puncture-Resistance of Gloves for Handling Bats  - Patricia W. Freeman University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Cliff A. Lemen University of Nebraska-Lincoln


For more information about this exhibit, contact the JAO Safety Operations Branch of Policy, Training, and Program Support.


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