Eleven different protective gloves made of natural rubber, synthetic rubber or plastic polymer materials were tested with regard to permeability to methylmethacrylate (MMA). Further, the cytotoxicity of the glove materials were tested using three methods: MTT assay on extracts of glove materials, and Agar overlay and Filter diffusion tests on the inside surface of the glove materials. Results showed that all the gloves tested were easily permeated by MMA, often within ½ minute. A thin synthetic rubber glove and a thick plastic polymer glove gave protection to MMA for at least 3 minutes. The three cytotoxicity tests exhibited almost identical results showing that the material in all natural rubber gloves and one plastic polymer glove were cytotoxic. Further, the cytotoxicity tests indicate that water-soluble, severely toxic substances are released from some of the glove materials.

Using protective gloves, protection or potential risk?
Lönnroth E-C, Wellendorf H, Morisbak E.
In: Proceedings 10th Year Anniversary Ergonomics Conference. Abeseyekera J, Lönnroth E-C, Piamonte DDPT, Shahnavaz H eds. Luleå University of Technology, Sweden: 198-203.