What on latex coated glove could make Reach test fail?


REACH is an important European regulation. It is in general something you have to comply with if doing business in Europe. The enforcement might be different from country to country.  Reach is supposed to be used to protect human health and the environment posed by chemicals; it is also used to enhance the competitiveness of European chemical industry.

By definition, work glove is a sort of article not chemical substance, so it does not need to follow all REACH procedures that chemicals got to obey, but you have to make sure it does not contain any harmful chemicals.  For work glove importers from some countries would get into trouble if their gloves were found contain harmful substances that is banned by REACH. The relative local government sector is responsible for the enforcement of REACH regulation. They could go test your product either at the point of custom declaration or during selling.

Now let’s talk about what on latex coated glove could make REACH test fail. Latex coated glove is a kind of glove that has a string knit liner and a latex coating. The coating style is either palm coated, 3/4 coated or fully coated. No matter which coating style, latex coated glove includes both liner and coating.

First let’s look at the liner. The liner is constructed with yarn, rubber thread, rubber band inside hem and hem yarn. Rubber thread on wrist, rubber band inside hem and hem yarn can be excluded because sample materials are taken from palm area. If the yarn used for knitting is not recycle one, then the liner is basically no problem to pass the test. If it is recycle yarn, then it is hard to say because nobody really knows exactly where these recycle material come from. Now lets get into coating. Coating was made with natural rubber latex and some assistant substance which usually some calcium stuff. These assistant substance might be suspectable, but when you go through all the substance used for making coating, you find non-harmful stuff.

Other than coating and liner, other chemicals are applied in production process. Those chemicals do not really become part of glove but residual on glove. There are several residual substance after gloves are done. One of them is a kind of brightener for enhancing the gloss of coating  without which glove looks bad. This brightener is the main cause that makes REACH test fail.

So the most effective way to pass REACH test is not to apply this brightener on gloves, but it will make glove look bad, especially when the glove coating is black color. The solution is to use as little brightener as you can. When you reduce the applied amount of brightener , harmful substances can be detected on glove but with a tolerant level allowed by REACH. This was proven by my past experience. It would be no problem for latex coated glove to pass REACH test if you reduce the applied amount of brightener.


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