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Case Study

Gloves Testing

The Client

Swedish investigators have reported excessive levels of substances of concern in leather or leather goods as part of a project to check compliance with the REACH restriction of hexavalent chromium.

HSE has also undertaken its own investigations, looking at hexavalent chromium and azo dyes in leather workwear gloves.


The Problem

Gloves Testing


Trivalent chromium is used in the leather tanning process. Under certain circumstances this can convert to the toxic form, hexavalent chromium. Annex XVII of REACH legislates that hexavalent chromium in leather gloves should be <3 mg/kg when the glove can come into contact with skin. Azo dyes may be used as colourants in the leather. Certain azo dyes can under reactive conditions cleave to produce primary aromatic amines which are known carcinogens and classified as skin sensitisers.



What We Did

HSE tested 51 gloves from safety workwear suppliers and, in similar findings to the Swedish study, about 10% exceeded the limit of <3 mg/kg for hexavalent chromium whereas no exceedances were found for azo dyes.





This work was conducted by our Analytical Chemistry team. Our analytical services could help you in your product assurance testing.

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