Consequences of poor glove choice

Via C&EN’s Chemistry in Pictures, shown here is what happened when “dichloromethane carried 3,4-ethylenedioxypyrrole through a researcher’s nitrile gloves. The compound polymerized onto the person’s fingers, forming poly-3,4-ethylenedioxypyrrole, a blue-black conductive polymer of unknown toxicity.” Check a glove compatibility chart before you experiment! The photo was taken by Kristof Hegedüs of

Polymer on fingers

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

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  1. Checking the glove chart may not be good enough. Even the best glove charts do not have a long list of specialty chemicals. While DCM is common (and probably listed on most charts), the 3,4-ethylenedioxypyrrole is probably not listed.

    We’ve heard it before: “No single glove material is compatible in all chemical exposure situations.” In many applications, you may be able to get away with using functional equivalents for your solvent if it’s not listed on the chart, but you will be increasing the likelihood of exposure. In addition, you may have to trade off dexterity for increasing the likelihood of exposure.

    If you require zero exposure to a material, you simply must test have the glove tested against the challenge agent.

  2. Sorry about that last sentence – “…simply must have the glove tested against the challenge agent.” (My browser was not cooperating with me earlier)