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Hand Protection

Gloves are commonly worn in research labs to protect against:

  • Corrosive or toxic chemicals
  • Solvents that can be rapidly absorbed through the skin
  • Extremely hot or cold objects

Communal Surfaces

Gloves must not be worn outside of the lab or used to touch any communal surfaces such as door handles or banisters

Glove Selection

No single type of glove is suitable for all purposes and should be appropriate for the activity being carried out. The table below describes the uses of several glove types.

Disposable Gloves

Disposable gloves (nitrile or neoprene) are commonly used to provide protection against accidental contact with small amounts of hazardous substances.

Whilst these gloves provide good protection against a range of common reagents, it should be noted that these gloves protect against some materials better than others.

If you are unsure about the protection offered by nitrile / neoprene gloves against a particular research chemical, it is worthwhile consulting a “chemical resistance glove chart”.
PVC Gloves

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) gloves provide protection against many acids, bases and alcohols. Examples of their use include removing glassware from a highly alkaline “base bath” solutions or when using highly corrosive acids.
Thermal Gloves

Thermal gloves provide protection when working with high temperature objects / equipment. Examples of their use include removing samples from furnaces or removing glassware from drying ovens.
Cryogenic Gloves

Cryogenic gloves are designed for handling items at low temperatures (down to -200°C) and should be worn when dispensing liquid nitrogen or dry ice.