People who work with corrosive chemicals and in industries such as battery manufacturing need to wear special work gloves that are designed to help protect their hands from exposure to toxic chemicals. Chemical gloves should also be worn by farmers who use chemicals on their crops as 80 percent of total body exposure to farm chemicals is through the hands. These gloves are essential items of safety gear for working with chemicals as chemicals can be absorbed through the skin of the hands and into the body, causing a reaction that can lead to acute poisoning.
Chemical gloves are made out of various types of materials such as butyl, neoprene, nitrile, PVC, Viton, 4H, and PVA, etc. While it is not possible to make a wearable glove that resists strong chemicals, the gloves need to have a high breakthrough time, which is defined as the time of first contact with chemicals and detection inside of the gloves. Chemical gloves have different ratings from 0 to 6, with 6 having the highest resistance and degradation rates. Chemical gloves should offer you excellent protection from things such as solvents, petroleum, animal fats, caustics, and acids. They are usually available in unlined and cotton lined models.
The gloves are available with textured finish which helps to provide an ideal grip while handling slippery and wet objects. Some styles have cotton flock and knit linings to help absorb perspiration and to reduce heat buildup. The thickness of these special work gloves is specified in millimeters or by gauge. Higher gauge chemical gloves usually give better protection, but sacrifice dexterity.
Before removing chemical gloves you should thoroughly wash them with some type of soap or detergent and water and then rinse them. The gloves should dry in a decontaminated area and you should then thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. You should place the dry gloves in a sealed plastic bag or other container, and store them carefully.
With prolonged exposure to chemicals, the gloves often degrade and cracks or holes may form in them. It is best to thoroughly check the gloves before each use. If the gloves are damages in any way you should dispose of them immediately as they are not safe to wear in less than perfect condition.