Glove Protection Against Viral Penetration


Workers can be exposed to different kinds of microbes that are capable of transmitting infection and diseases. A common misconception is that when they wear PPE, such as nitrile gloves, they are protected from bloodborne pathogens, bacteria, and other micro-organisms.

Viral penetration can still occur through imperfections in gloves such as pinholes, thin spots, tears, and other manufacturing defects. Stakeholders must practice caution in choosing their glove, especially if they rely upon it as an effective barrier.

Choosing the Right Glove

SW’s gloves have been successfully tested against the stringent US and EU viral penetration test standards, thus giving stakeholders a high level of protection from viruses, bacteria and fungi. This reduces or eliminates the risk of exposure to biological hazards and guarantees quality of every glove produced.

Understanding Relevant Test Standards

ASTM F1671 is the standard used in North America, it is a pass or fail test designed to show whether the material can protect a wearer from viruses transmitted via blood or bodily fluids.

EN ISO 374-5 Virus standard, is the standard in Europe, it measures the ability of gloves to protect from bacteria, fungi and virus penetration using ISO 16604 as the test method.

Both standards expose the glove’s outer surface to phiX174 bacteriophage virus; samples are initially conditioned and tested for penetration using the virus suspension. At the conclusion of the test, the glove surface is observed for penetration.

Viral Penetration testing is recognized by FDA as standard measure for glove safety and effectiveness.
National Fire Protection Agency included this test as a requirement in the NFPA regulation tested by UL.
EN Pictogram for gloves that are tested and passed permeability for virus protection.


Difference of Bacteria and Virus

Bacteria are giants when compared to viruses. Viruses are 0.004 to 0.1 microns in size, which is about 100 times smaller than bacteria.

Their small size makes it very easy to pass through tiny pinholes of gloves.

Why Viral Penetration Testing is important?

If a glove is not tested against penetration by blood borne pathogens, it can give a false sense of security. Glove pinholes are sometimes not visible to the naked eye.

Customer Benefits

  • Maximum safety level against infective agents
  • Conformance to US and international regulations
  • Superior product quality
  • Prevent spreading infections
  • Comply with workplace health & safety requirements
  • Cost savings from health expenses
  • Prevents business disruption due to illness