Gloves Free from Fluoroalkyl Material Residues: A Commitment to Safety and Quality

Ask GIA™ Blog

Glove Intelligent Assistant

A while ago, the ASK GIA blog had discussed glove biocompatibility. Biocompatibility in this context determines whether a glove will induce an adverse reaction when it comes into contact with the human body. It would be highly unfortunate if consumers get penalized for choosing to use personal protective equipment (PPE) and having adverse reactions to the equipment. Having adverse reactions to PPE would further create additional hazards in the user’s working environment. Thus, the FDA has stringent guidelines, first developing biocompatibility standards in 1986. These standards eventually were updated in 2016 to adopt ISO 10993-1 as the main guidelines for testing the biocompatibility of medical devices. Recently, there is a new biocompatibility concern that the US Environmental Protection Agency has been bringing awareness towards. The EPA has advised that people should try and limit their exposure to PFAS.

What are PFAS and How does one come into contact with them?

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a group of manufactured chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s because of their useful properties. The molecules include chains of carbon and fluorine atoms, and thus contain carbon-fluorine bonds. Carbon-fluorine bonds are one of the strongest single bonds, making them hard to degrade. PFAS can be found in drinking water, fire extinguishing foam, manufacturing facilities, food preservatives, food packaging, household products like cleaning products, and personal care products like shampoo or cosmetics. They have been used in various products as they make materials oil-, stain-, and water-repellent, or non-stick. PFAS are particularly harmful because they accumulate overtime in people’s bodies, remaining for years. They do not break down into safer substances either, exposure can continue years after it was initially introduced to a system.

Studies on PFAS found that they were linked to decreased fertility or increased high blood pressure in pregnant women, developmental effects or delays in children, including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, bone variations, or behavioral changes. There is also an Increased risk of some cancers, including prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers along with a reduced ability of the body’s immune system to fight infections, which includes reduced vaccine response. Other concerns were PFAS interference with the body’s natural hormones leading to increased cholesterol levels and, or risk of obesity.



How can one limit the exposure of PFAS?

People should try to avoid drinking contaminated water or eating from contaminated food sources. Consumers should avoid non-stick cookware, limit using certain grease-proof packaging, and avoid textiles that are advertised with waterproof and stainproof qualities. The silver lining is that the EPA is aware of this issue and has been phasing out PFAS in consumer products. In order to further avoid PFAS if one is working long hours in the workforce is using PFAS-free gloves. PFAS-free gloves are protective gloves that contain no detectable levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS-free gloves must undergo strict scientific testing standards. SW gloves are tested against the latest EN 17681-1:2022 and EN 17681- 2:2022 standards, which determine whether there is presence of PFAS in the glove material.

We care about the health of our customers and thus it is vitally important that our gloves do not contain harmful materials that would impact the personal health of our customers. SW is proud to be a leader in sustainability by supporting the reduction of persistent environmental pollutants. Our business focuses on reinforcing the safety of our consumers with advanced scientific testing. SW hopes to set a new benchmark for safety and sustainability. Try our PFAS-free gloves today and take the first step in protecting your personal and hand health with our superior products.