nanoparticlesA newly developed testing method shows that nanoparticles may penetrate through some types of gloves under conditions simulating workplace use.

The method published by the IRSST research institute comes in response to the exponential growth of industrial applications of nanotechnologies and the corresponding increased risk of occupational exposure to nanomaterials.

Knowledge about the kinds of PPE that may limit exposure to nanomaterials has lagged behind the growth of the nano industry.

Tests were performed to measure the resistance of four models of protective gloves of different thicknesses made of nitrile, latex, neoprene and butyl rubber to the penetration of commercial TiO2 nanoparticles in powder form or colloidal solution.

The results appear to indicate that nanoparticles may penetrate through some types of gloves, particularly when the gloves are subjected to repeated mechanical deformations and the nanoparticles are in colloidal solution form.

The IRSST says the method could also prove useful for studying the penetration of NPs through the textiles used in protective clothing.

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