The standard EN374 is in place to certify gloves that are designed for use with or around chemical hazards or micro-organisms.
As working with chemicals carries an incredibly high risk, gloves certified to this test will all be classified as CAT III.
Gloves in this category (CAT III) are to protect against the highest levels of risk (i.e. irreversible or mortal risks) and are of a complex design.
EN374 covers a wide range of hazards and gauges a gloves response to a long list of chemicals. In addition, the test looks at penetration, permeability, breakthrough time, shrinkage, and more.
Due to all of the aforementioned factors, EN374 is split into 5 areas:
- EN374-1:2016: Protective Gloves Against Chemicals and Micro-Organisms
- EN374-2:2013: Determination to Resistance to Penetration
- EN374-3: Determination of Resistance to Permeation by Chemicals (replaced by EN16523)
- EN374-4:2014: Determination of Resistance to Degradation by Chemicals
- EN374-5:2016: Terminology and Performance Requirements for Micro-Organism Risks
EN374-1: Protective Gloves Against Chemicals and Micro-Organisms
The majority of chemical-resistant gloves found on the market will be tested to EN374-1.
This test specifies the requirements for protective gloves intended for use with chemicals and stipulates the requirements for permeation, penetration, and degradation.
In EN374-1, gloves are tested against a list of 18 chemicals that are included within the standard (seen below).
|E||Carbon Disulphate||75-15-0||Organic Compound Containing Sulphur|
|H||Tetrahydrofuran||109-99-9||Heterocyclic & Ether Compound|
|K||40% Sodium Hydroxide||1310-73-2||Inorganic Base|
|L||96% Sulphuric Acid||7664-93-9||Inorganic Mineral Acid|
|M||65% Nitric Acid||7697-37-2||Inorganic Mineral Acid|
|N||99% Acetic Acid||64-19-7||Organic Acid|
|O||25% Ammonium Hydroxide||1336-21-6||Organic Base|
|P||30% Hydrogen Peroxide||7722-84-1||Peroxide|
|S||40% Hydrofolric Acid||7664-39-3||Inorganic Mineral Acid|
The letters which are displayed below the standard shield correspond with the letters in the above list. If a chemical code is below the shield then the glove is certified for use with this substance.
Gloves are then classified as ‘Type A’, ‘Type B’, or ‘Type C’, depending on the performance level and the number of chemicals which they protect against.
- Type A – achieves level 2 or greater against a minimum of 6 chemicals
- Type B – achieves level 2 or greater against a minimum of 3 chemicals
- Type C – achieves level 2 or greater against a minimum of 1 chemicals
EN374-2:2014: Determination to Resistance to Penetration
This test assesses a gloves resistance to penetration by the chemicals listed in EN374-1:2016.
In this part of the standard, gloves are tested for defects or holes in the material. This is because chemicals could potentially leak through and make contact with the skin.
During this test, gloves are filled with air and/or water and the level of leakage is measured. To pass, gloves must not leak either.
There are 3 different results that can be achieved within EN374-2:2014:
- EN374-2:2014:1 – Waterproof
- EN374-2:2014:2 – Waterproof and Micro-Organism Resistant
- EN374-2:2014:3 – Waterproof and Micro-Organisms Resistant
EN374-4:2013: Determination of Resistance to Degradation by Chemicals
This part of the test looks at how long a glove will take to degrade when in contact with chemicals.
The degradation result is calculated in % and will be reported in the instruction manual for the product.
Each chemical listed in the table within EN374-1:2016 shall be tested for degradation.
EN374-5:2016: Terminology and Performance Requirements for Micro-Organism Risks
All gloves under EN374-1:2016 must be tested to this standard.
EN374-5:2016 specifies performance requirements for gloves that protect against micro-organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
Gloves offering protection against Viruses must pass additional penetration tests according to ISO16604:2004 – resistance of protective clothing materials to penetration by blood-borne pathogens.
For gloves longer than 400mm, a sample from the cuff area must also be tested (in addition to the palm) to claim protection against this standard.
Certified products will display the Virus shield on the product, packaging, and/or supporting documents.
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