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Subject: Nitrile gloves

Nitrile gloves

From: Will Jeffers <wjeffers>
Date: Thursday, June 26, 2003
After hearing about problems with silver tarnishing after it had
been handled with a specific brand of powder free nitrile gloves, I
ran some quick accelerated corrosion tests on several brands of
nitrile gloves.  I cut three fingers off each glove sample and
placed them in an uncovered Petri dish.  On each glove finger I
placed one of three metal coupons: pure silver, sterling silver, and
copper.  The Petri dishes were then placed inside a test oven at 60
deg. C.

Within a short period of time, one of the brands of gloves produced
significant corrosion on all three test coupons.  A little research
into the manufacture of powder free nitrile gloves revealed that
some powder free gloves are made using a polymer coating process in
which a polymer slip coating is applied to the interior of the
glove, while others undergo a chlorination process.

I contacted the manufacturers of the gloves and discovered that the
glove which produced noticeable corrosion on the test coupons had
undergone chlorination, followed by "neutralization of the chlorine
and voluminous washing."  In this very limited sampling, gloves
manufactured using the polymer coating process tested significantly
better.

Will Jeffers
Collections Care Scientific Research Assistant
Scientific Research Laboratory
Museum of Fine Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-5597
617-369-3466
Fax: 617-369-3702


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:6
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Received on Thursday, 26 June, 2003

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