Monthly Archives: October 2017

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.