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RR525 - Use of chemical protective gloves to control dermal exposures in the uv lithographic printing sub-sector

The printing industry is one of the largest sectors in the UK. The chemicals and solvents used in the printing sector are known to cause dermatitis. This project was designed to identify the most appropriate chemical protective glove for each work activity in this sector, and review the way each work activity is carried out to try to reduce exposure risk.

Solvent chemical mixtures and chemical protective glove materials were identified in the lithographic printing industry, and workplace visits showed how the gloves were used. The printers maintained a high standard of cleanliness with the inks, however they did not appear to regard the solvents as skin hazards. There were no current cases of dermatitis.

Nitrile gloves of 0.4mm thickness (already in use) were found to resist permeation by the greatest proportion of the solvents, tested on specific chemical products. These gloves are recommended as an initial (default) choice for general use in lithographic printing. Particularly aggressive chemicals may require thicker, or different types of, gloves. This information has been used to produce specific task-based guidance for COSHH Essentials for Printers.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-03-19