Understanding the EN 374:2016 Standard for Chemical Protective Gloves
Mar. 26, 2024

Chemical exposure and handling is a regular part of daily work in many industries. However, chemicals are extremely harmful to both personal health and the environment. In order to protect workers from chemicals, most of the industries concerned tend to choose gloves with chemical protection properties.


To ensure that these gloves perform effectively, all glove products entering the market must meet specific standards.In the case of Europe, any type of chemically resistant, chemically protective or chemically treated glove entering the European market must meet the requirements of the Standard EN 374.


The latest version of the EN 374 standard is EN 374:2016, which has been updated in terminology and performance requirements for chemical and micro-organisms risks.


EN 374-1:2016:Terminology and performance requirements for chemical risks

The new standard increases number of chemicals tested from 12 to 18.And the added chemicals are shown in the table below in codes M-T.


Each chemical tested is categorized into permeation ratings from 1-6 based on the time it takes to penetrate. Generally, the longer the chemical penetrates through the glove, the higher the rating.Plus,the permeation performance levels remain unchanged.

The new standard divides gloves into three classification,:Type A, Type B and Type C. The division is based on the gloves’ performance level and number of chemicals they can protect against.


The table below lists the performance level and number of chemicals required for each type.


NOTE: Gloves that meet each type of testing must have specific pictogram on the product packaging and the six/three/one chemical reagents tested should be reflected by their code numbers below the identification.

EN 374-5:2016:Terminology and performance requirements for micro-organisms risks

The new standard also specifies in Part V the requirements for protective gloves in terms of their resistance to microorganisms (including viruses).

There are two classifications:

①protection against bacteria and fungi

②protection against viruses, bacteria and fungi.


NOTE:A glove claiming protection from bacteria,fungi and virus must carry the corresponding pictogram and warnings.

For gloves longer than 400 mm, and if the cuff is claimed to protect against micro-organisms risks, additional test specimens shall be taken from the cuff area and tested to ISO 16604.

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