IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Measuring the efficacy of protective gloves against nanoparticles in conditions simulating their use in the workplace


The use of nanoparticles (NP) in manufactured goods and in research laboratories is constantly growing. While the toxicity of certain NP has been established and the risks of exposure in the workplace increase, it is essential that protective equipment be made available.

While many studies on respiratory protection against NP have been carried out, few have been conducted on skin protection. The precautionary principle urges that protective gloves be used to shield the wearer from chemicals. However, their efficacy in protecting against NP has not been demonstrated. A method for measuring NP penetration through glove materials was developed in an earlier project. Simulating conditions in the workplace, it measures the movement of NP through samples subjected simultaneously to mechanical and environmental stresses.

This project is funded jointly by the IRSST and NanoQuebec. It aims to develop a methodology for the detection and characterization of NP so that we may acquire knowledge and data on the efficacy of the protection against NP afforded by different types of glove materials under conditions simulating their use in the workplace.

The data obtained will facilitate making recommendations on the selection of protective gloves in cases of exposure to NP.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2013-0060
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2016
  • Nathalie Tufenkji (Université McGill)
  • Stéphane Hallé (École de technologie supérieure)
  • Kevin Wilkinson (Université de Montréal)