ISO 11193-2:2006— Poly(Vinyl Chloride) Gloves

Doctor putting on polyvinyl chloride (PVC) medical examination gloves that adhere to ISO 11193-2:2006.

Known for its cost-effectiveness, durability, flexibility, and adaptability, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a cornerstone material in industries worldwide. ISO 11193-2:2006— Single-Use Medical Examination Gloves – Part 2: Specification For Gloves Made From Poly(Vinyl Chloride) establishes specifications for the safety and performance of poly(vinyl chloride) gloves.

What Are Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Gloves Used For?

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is resistant to abrasions, chemicals, and weathering; the material is used in the construction industry for pipes, electrical cables, and building materials, as well as in healthcare for medical devices. PVC gloves are often used when handling oils and greases. Additionally, the material polyvinyl chloride withstands many chemicals, acids, caustics, alcohols, and alkalis, making it useful in the medical industry.

PVC gloves offer protection against dyes, detergents, and low-risk liquids and bodily fluids, so if doctors or medical practitioners conduct low-risk examinations, they can use PVC gloves when latex or nitrile gloves are not available. Due to their low cost and low protection levels, PVC gloves are commonly used in non-hazardous and low-infection environments.

What Is ISO 11193-2?

ISO 11193-2:2006 specifies requirements for packaged sterile, or bulked non-sterile, poly(vinyl chloride) gloves intended for use in medical examinations and diagnostic or therapeutic procedures to protect the patient and the user from cross-contamination. This standard also covers poly(vinyl chloride) gloves intended for use in handling contaminated medical materials. It is intended as a reference for the performance and safety of poly(vinyl chloride) examination gloves.

The safe and proper usage of examination gloves and sterilization procedures with subsequent handling, packaging and storage procedures are outside the scope of ISO 11193-2:2006.

What Are Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Gloves Made of?

PVC is a versatile synthetic polymer derived from the polymerization of vinyl chloride monomers. Vinyl gloves are made from PVC, a petroleum-based film. The primary benefit of vinyl disposable gloves is that they are inexpensive to manufacture. That being said, they are less durable than latex and nitrile and offer limited protection against chemical or biomedical exposure. When vinyl gloves are stretched or flexed, the individual molecules separate and the integrity of the protective barrier is compromised.

What To Look For in Protective Gloves

The selection of glove type should be based on the type of exposure and nature of the hazard. Some chemicals can easily penetrate gloves that work very well for other chemicals. For example, PVC gloves provide protection against certain chemicals and have just enough flexibility to make them a practical choice for professionals engaged in tasks that demand both dexterity and barrier protection. As such, chemical personal protective equipment gloves and materials are evaluated and rated on the characteristics:

  1. Penetration: how much chemical moves through the product material on initial contact
  2. Permeation: how much chemical seeps through over time
  3. Degradation: how fast the material physically changes after exposure

When selecting protective gloves, it is also important to note if a worker will have incidental contact (little or no direct contact with the hazardous material) or extended contact (handling highly contaminated materials).

ISO 11193-2:2006— Single-Use Medical Examination Gloves – Part 2: Specification For Gloves Made From Poly(Vinyl Chloride) is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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