Health risk assessments of DEHP released from chemical protective gloves

The substance di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) is widely used as a plasticiser in chemical protective gloves to improve their flexibility and workability. However, it is possible that workers using protective gloves to handle various solvents may be exposed to DEHP leached by the solvents. Using an ASTM F739 permeation cell, it was found that BTEX solvents permeating through the glove samples dissolved DEHP from the gloves. Even without continuously contacting the permeant, DEHP was released from the contaminated glove samples during the desorption experiments. The DEHP leaching amounts were found to be inversely correlated to the permeability coefficients of BTEX in the glove samples. This result implied that the larger the amount of DEHP released from the glove samples, the higher the permeation resistance of gloves. Although chemical protective gloves provide adequate skin exposure protection to workers, the dermal exposure model developed herein indicates that leaching of DEHP from the glove samples may pose a potential health risk to the workers who handle BTEX. This study suggests that the selection of protective gloves should not only be concerned with the chemical resistance of the gloves but also the health risk associated with leaching of chemicals, such as DEHP, used in the manufacturing of the gloves.

Authors: Chao KP, Huang CS, Wei CY. ;Full Source: Journal of Hazardous Material. 2015 Feb 11;283:53-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2014.09.010. Epub 2014 Sep 16. ;