The Real Cost of Sweaty Gloves—It’s Not Just About Comfort

SW Safety Health Glove Water

SW Safety was recently featured in the November 2017 issue of OH&S Magazine. “The Real Cost of Sweaty Gloves—It’s Not Just About Comfort” discusses common problems experienced when wearing single-use gloves. The article also addresses potential additional costs including associated health care and decreased productivity.

The article goes on to discuss the long-term effects that users experience, including skin rashes and dermatitis, as well as allergic reactions. These and other negative outcomes can often be prevented by using the right glove for the situation.

Read the full article on OH&S’s website here

SW Safety – Glove Technologies

SW Safety Solutions has for many years pushed the limits in quality single-use glove construction. Not just for a better, more reliable glove, but for the end user as well. Glove usage is a requirement in many work applications, and because of the nature that gloves function, many serious reactions have surfaced. From dry and itchy rashes, to severe contact allergies, and more. SW Safety has made comfort and safety an on-going priority. To that end the following Hand Health and Performance Technologies have been developed for single use nitirle and latex gloves:

Hand Health Technologies

ACTIValoe TechnologyACTIValoe®

Patented Aloe Vera technology soothes and moisturizes hands while you work.
SW gloves with ACTIValoe inner coating have been shown to decrease irritation, inflammation, contact dermatitis, dryness and redness, and to improve overall health and appearance of skin.

Through a stringent purification and decoloring process, ACTIValoe material is refined to deliver a mix of polysaccharide molecular weights in the range of 50,000 to 200,000 Da optimal to support the skin benefits of Aloe Vera. When activated through the skin’s natural hydration process, Aloe Vera is delivered directly to the epidermis with a moisturizing and soothing effect.

Hand health issues including dermatitis, perspiration and general discomfort, challenge life science professionals required to wear gloves to perform their jobs. Wearing single use gloves can perpetuate an occlusive environment that can damage the exterior layers of skin on the hand. SW single use gloves with ACTIValoe technology have been shown to soothe and moisturize workers’ hands.1

DriTek Technology
DriTek™

Keep cool and comfortable during long term glove applications.
DriTek sweat management technology provides an absorbent lining to control moisture and enhance user comfort.

Controlled moisture improves dexterity and tactility, better handling of tips, tubes and lab instruments. It also helps maintain a healthier environment for the skin. Excessive moisture can compromise skin integrity resulting in irritation, dryness and other conditions.

DriTek doesn’t stop at better comfort and skin protection. It also delivers superior durability and long life. Multilayer construction results in certifi ed ANSI Level 3 Abrasion Resistance.

The DriTek liner also facilitates easier donning, even with wet hands.

pH Natural Technology
pH Natural®

Proprietary pH balance technology helps maintain your skin’s natural defenses.
Infused on the inner surface of the glove, SW pH Natural technology restores and maintains an optimum pH level to support the skin’s natural healing ability and help protect the hand from heightened pH levels. In a study conducted by Stanford University, subjects wearing pH Natural gloves experienced a decrease in the development of redness, scaling, irritation and roughness.2

By matching the skin’s natural 5.5 pH level, this all-natural, pH-balancing lining helps to prevent disruption of the acid mantle, a very thin, slightly acidic fi lm on the skin that serves as the fi rst line of defense against the elements. This helps maintain the integrity of the stratus corneum, or the skin’s outer most layer responsible for the skin’s barrier function.

Due to the presence of excess moisture, irritants and manufacturing residuals, an elevated skin pH level is common among individuals with high glove usage.

Performance Technologies

TouchTek Technology
TouchTek™

Protect your hands and valuable samples from glove-borne manufacturing residuals.
SW TouchTek technology reduces residual chemical irritants and contaminants from manufacturing. This enhances glove quality on both the outer and inner surfaces of the glove.

Reduced residuals on the outer glove surface results in lower risk of contamination or interference with sensitive lab work.

A cleaner inner glove surface helps prevent the risk of contact dermatitis due to allergic reactions to residual manufacturing chemicals.

Protecting hands, as well as lab instruments, vessels and ultimately valuable samples from contaminants, enhances lab worker comfort, safety and overall productivity.

MilTek Technology
MilTek™

Get long-lasting protection without sacrifi cing tactility and dexterity.
MilTek technology delivers a more consistent material thickness across the entire glove – from fingers to palm to cuff.

Most conventional gloves are much thicker at the fi ngertips and much thinner at the cuff than at the palm. This often results in cuffs failing immediately upon donning or even when fi rst pulling from a dispenser. It can also inhibit fi ngertip tactile sensitivity and overall dexterity.

MilTek thickness control means greater dexterity and tactile sensitivity in the fi ngertips, effective protection at the palm and a cuff that is always thick enough to be tear-resistant.

TracTek Technology
TracTek™

Keep a safe grip on wet glassware and columns in the lab.
Patent-pending technology TracTek is the latest innovation in patterned nitrile grip, designed to greatly increase grip on wet and oily surfaces. The pattern employs a uniquely effeient raised diamond micro-pyramid grip design that channels liquids away from key areas of the hand where traction is most present, and offers 200% more tactile grip on wet and oily surfaces relative to similar products:

  • Maximum points of contact optimizes grip performance
  • Rigid design ensures grip does not weaken with time and wear
  • Pyramid pattern keeps multi-directional fl ow channels open between points of contact to effciently expel liquid without sacrifi cing grip.

Tractek’s features create an unprecedented grip ability in a nitrile glove as tested under ASTM F2961. This design affords maximum grip in all conditions without sacrifi cing durability or sensitivity.

1. West DP, Zhu YF. Evaluation of aloe vera gel gloves in the treatment of dry skin associated with occupational exposure. Am J Infect Control 2003;31:40-2.
2. Mirza R, Maani N. A randomized, controlled, double-blind study of the effect of wearing coated pH 5.5 latex gloves compared with standard powder-free latex gloves on skin pH, transepidermal water loss and skin irritation. Department of Dermatology, Clinical Trials, Stanford University, Contact Dermatitis. 2006 55(1):20-5.

Sticky Buns Are Good, Sticky Gloves Are Not

Have you ever opened a brand new box of nitrile gloves and tried to pull out a pair only to have a clump of stuck together gloves come out of the box? The reason many new nitrile gloves stick together this way has to do with the post production and packaging process.

Single use nitrile glove manufacturing involves dipping molds or formers into a nitrile solution. A release agent is used to make removing the gloves from the formers easier. Once the gloves are removed from the formers, many manufacturers simply leave the release agent in place and move the gloves directly to packaging. This is where the seemingly simple manufacturing solution starts to present problems.

First, as the release agent dries it gets sticky so when gloves are placed together in packaging, the gloves can stick together so much that it can nearly impossible to remove just one at a time.

Sticky Orange Gloves

A box of 100 suddenly becomes a box of 80 or 70 or 60 because of everything from contamination from clumps of gloves hitting the floor to having a significant number of gloves being unusable because of they’ve been torn as they’ve been pulled apart from each other.

Second, once you’ve managed to get an individual pair of gloves out of the box, you might find that the release agent now makes it more difficult to don the gloves because of the stickiness as it begins to react to the moisture from your hands.

Third, any contact with fluids, including sweat, can rehydrate the release agents, causing the gloves to become slippery and running the risk of contaminating whatever it comes in contact with.

The fourth area of concern when dealing with release agents on nitrile gloves is the potential effect on wearers’ skin. Although nitrile is hypoallergenic, the release agent is not, and people are often surprised to learn that the costly and painful dermatitis and allergy-like issues they’re facing are actually caused by a foreign substance, the release agent on the gloves.

Fortunately, not all gloves are boxed and sold with release agents present. Although it’s easier and cheaper to leave release agents on product, SW is committed to an extensive post-production process called TouchTek® that removes these release agents before the gloves are 100% hand inspected and packaged.

To the customer, TouchTek translates into gloves that don’t stick together, don’t get slippery, are easier to don and doff, are far less likely to contaminate work surfaces and that eliminate skin problems typically caused by release agents.

For SW Safety, TouchTek is just one part of the commitment to provide only the very best value to our customers from start to finish.

Case Study: Extended Glove Use-AloeTuff

A world leader in the manufacture of advanced pharmaceutical chemical ingredients produces some of the most volatile chemicals currently in use in facilities around the world. Part of their attention to detail includes stringent PPE regulations and requirements that apply to every employee from lab scientists to equipment maintenance and painting crews.

Damaged Skin on Hand

Certain members of these crews, who spend extended periods of work time wearing single use gloves, were experiencing significant skin problems which they believed were caused by the harsh environment within a nitrile glove. Chief complaints included extensive peeling on the entire hand, similar to that caused by severe sunburn, and painful, dry and cracked skin that resulted in a breakdown of the skin’s barrier function against foreign substances.

The Industrial Hygienist tasked with these employees’ health championed various efforts to improve outcomes including switching to different glove models and experimenting with the application of various therapeutic lotions and treatments both before and after glove use. All efforts prior to working with SW Safety had resulted in only insignificant changes.

SW Safety arranged an extended trial of AloeTuff gloves for affected workers, anticipating that the combination of sweat-management and Aloe infusion provided by AloeTuff would be successful in resolving most of the hand skin health problems being exhibited.

Early in the trial, with individual workers less than 25 pairs into the test, the peeling and dryness had resolved in all cases without any compromise in performance. The switch to AloeTuff gloves resulted in dramatically improved skin health and worker comfort provided by the DriTek® and ACTIValoe®technologies while the high dexterity and ANSI Level III Abrasion resistance contributed to improved performance in the most challenging of environments.

Vending Machine Ready

SW Safety continuously monitors key trends in its target markets, and quickly adapts to new and changing customer needs. An important workplace trend today, and especially in manufacturing facilities, is the use of vending machines to dispense PPE – including gloves – to employees. Vending machines can help improve safety compliance by ensuring proper glove selection, reduce costs by managing inventory, and reducing waste. In response to this growing need, SW is now offering its popular Megaman glove (“Certified Tough” ANSI 3 abrasion) in a new vend-pack ready package, available with 4-pairs of gloves.

Megaman Vend Packs

Megaman is the first SW product available in vend packs and was chosen because of its versatile, multi-use properties that allow facilities to consolidate glove styles and introduce state-of-the-art perspiration management in a single use glove.

Megaman Vend-Packs are available now! Download the Product Specification Sheet here and be sure to contact your Regional Sales Manager or email Customer Service for any additional information, including pricing.