The EN420 standard has evolved to become EN ISO 21420.

In March 2020, a new standard was published: EN ISO 21420: 2019 on protective gloves – general requirements and test methods. LEBON explains everything about this new standard.

Protective glove manufacturers must make sure the materials used to produce their products do not impact operator health. This new EN ISO 21420 standard, which will replace the EN 420 standard, builds on this trend and deals extensively with safety.

Indeed, concerning this last point, the following has not changed:

  • The Chromium VI value must be under 3 mg/kg for leather gloves (every type of leather used must be tested)
  • All metallic materials which could come into prolonged contact with the skin must have a nickel release value of less than 5 μg/cm² per week
  • pH must be between 3.5 and 9.5 (test on the palm of the hand if only one material, if not all materials should be tested)

What has changed:

The new EN ISO 21420 standard brings in a new DMF (dimethylformamide or also DMFa) limit threshold for polyurethane (PU) coated gloves: it also makes it possible to align with REACH legislation on hazardous substances and substances of very high concern (registration, assessment, authorisation and restriction of chemicals). PPE manufacturers are now required to have a DMF level of less than 1000mg / kg or 1000ppm.

Furthermore, the PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) level should be less than 1 mg / kg for plastic materials in direct contact with the skin (coated gloves only).

The other change in this standard development concerns electrostatic properties. In fact, the new EN 16350 standard sets a vertical leakage resistance level of below 108 Ohms and is accompanied by a new logo to be indicated on the gloves.

About the glove sizes :

The new EN ISO 21420 standard addresses the issue of glove size. Indeed, manufacturers must define their own size systems which must correspond to glove user hand sizes (length and hand circumference):

  • For a size, the glove length should be longer than the hand length
  • The same applies to the glove circumference and the hand circumference
  • Size grading

Furthermore, sizes now range from size 4 to 13. The standard offers the possibility of adding sizes or half sizes by extrapolation.

About the marking :

The marking is also a change in the EN ISO 21420 standard. In fact, from now on, manufacturers are required to add the product manufacture traceability data such as the batch number or the date of manufacture or the glove use by date when applicable.

Finally, the standard requires the glove washing instructions to feature on the operating instructions if applicable, and in the latter case, whether the glove was tested before or after washing. The declaration of conformity must also be easy to access for each product, for example at the website address from which they will be made available.

The transition period for this new standard is 6 months. The end of the application of EN420 will take effect in September 2020.

You now have all the information on the changes brought about by the EN ISO 21420 standard. The LEBON team remains at your disposal to provide further information.

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