We have devised a novel method for evaluating the effectiveness of protective gloves and have undertaken a small study to assess this approach. Three types of glove were tested in a standardised simulation test with a permethrin-based pesticide, Prewashed cotton gloves were used to collect the samples. One was worn over the protective glove on one hand to measure the potential deposition of pesticide on the hands had the gloves not been worn, A second was placed under the protective glove on the opposite hand to measure the actual deposition of permethrin on the hands when the gloves were worn, This regime was reversed half Hay through each test in an attempt to prevent bias. Measurable inner glove contamination occurred on 25 out of 30 occasions, Geometric mean protection factors were calculated from the ratio of outer and inner sampling glove contamination, with average protection factors of 470, 200 and 96 being obtained for the two nitrile and PVC gloves, respectively. The PVC gloves were the least effective in preventing inner glove contamination, probably because the glove was thick and fairly inflexible, causing more pesticide to enter the glove around the cuff. Although the tasks were standardised, variability occurred due to worker behaviour and equipment failure. The spray pump failed on five occasions, resulting in higher levels of inner glove contamination and a geometric mean protection factor of 32, On the occasions when the pump worked correctly, the level of protection provided by the gloves rose dramatically with mean protection factors of 220 and 450 being obtained for workers categorised as "messy" and "tidy", respectively. (C) 2001 British Occupational Hygiene Society. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
- OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE
- PESTICIDE EXPOSURE