Gloves are designed specifically to protect the wearer’s hands from some type of injury — cuts, spills, burns, or even repetitive use injuries that only manifest over time. The challenge is as straightforward as finding the right glove for the job — balancing comfort, performance, and protection.
There are no standards or regulations around cleanroom PPE or glove performance. When choosing gloves for use in a cleanroom, buyers should therefore carefully check that the particle count of the gloves does not exceed the standards of the cleanroom where they will be used.
Another concern is ionic content — the measure of the amount of residual ions, either positive or negative — on the gloves.
Ionic residuals and the insulative properties of the base glove material also dictate how well a material behaves in terms of electrostatic discharge (ESD) — another important consideration in the cleanroom, especially in the electronics sector. Since natural rubber latex is an excellent insulator, it isn’t viable for ESD-sensitive applications.
Cleanroom gloves must protect not just the person wearing the gloves, but the cleanroom environment itself and the products within that environment.
Further reading: The Cleanroom’s Dirty Little Secret