Wrong Gloves Lead to an Acid Burn

A Post-Doctorate Fellow was working with concentrated Sulfuric Acid. She splashed some of the acid onto her latex gloves and it quickly burned a hole through the gloves and caused a small second-degree burn. She removed her gloves and ran her hand under water for fifteen minutes.

Clearly the wrong gloves were used in this case. A better choice of gloves would be those made out of Polyethylene or Butyl Rubber. 

When setting up an experiment or handling concentrated chemicals, thoroughly investigate the properties of the materials involved. This is essential to determining the appropriate personal protective equipment. There has not been a glove made that will protect you against all chemicals. In fact, ALL glove materials will be degraded by ALL chemicals... it is just a question of time.  If you are unsure, ask the Safety Office, your supervisor or consult a glove chart.

If using disposable gloves and you have splashed something on to them, replace them immediately. This will minimize exposures through pinholes or degradation. If you are using non-disposable gloves, clean and rinse them thoroughly as appropriate or before switching to another pair.


Case Reports From TheLiterature, IPCS Inchem,  Hydrogen Fluoride Page (Scroll down to Section 11.1)