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BS EN 374 Parts 1 to 3: 2003
Protective gloves against chemicals and micro-organisms.

European Standard EN 374: 2003 consists of the following parts under the general title: “Protective gloves against chemicals and micro-organisms”

Part 1 details the performance criteria and also includes requirements to check the mechanical and physical integrity of the products.

Penetration resistance in part 2 is determined by subjecting the gloves to either air leak or water leak tests to determine if any holes are present which would allow chemicals to penetrate through to the users hand.

Part 3 specifies the determination of the resistance of protective glove materials to permeation by potentially hazardous non-gaseous chemicals under the conditions of continuous contact. Permeation is the process by which a chemical moves through a protective glove material on a molecular level. Gloves are classified according to the breakthrough time of the chemical through the glove material.

Part 2:
Determination of resistance to penetration

Two tests are included in this part of EN 374, both to assess the resistance of the glove to penetration (or freedom from holes). Firstly the air leak test which involves inflating a glove with air pressure and then submerging it in a tank of water. Any leaks are identified by visible bubbles. The second test involves suspending a glove filled with water and examining its outer surface for water droplets.

Part 3:
Determination of resistance to permeation by chemicals

A sample of the glove material is placed in contact with a challenge chemical and the rate at which this chemical travels through (permeates) the material is determined. The breakthrough time is the time at which this permeation rate exceeds 1µg/cm2/min. The samples are assigned performance levels depending on this breakthrough time. In order to be certified as chemically protective, the gloves must achieve a minimum of level 2 (breakthrough time of greater than 30 minutes) against at least 3 chemicals listed in EN 374-1.