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Standard EN 420:2003

General Requirements for Protective Gloves

This standard describes the general requirements for glove design and construction, comfort and efficiency, defines marking and basic user information applicable to all protective gloves.
Standard EN 388:2003

Protection from Mechanical Risks

This standard applies to all kinds of protective gloves with regard to physical and mechanical risks of injury caused by abrasion, cut, puncture and tear. Protection against mechanical hazards is represented by a pictogram followed by four numbers, each representing performance levels tested against a specific hazard. The lowest score is Level 0 with the highest being Level 4 (with the exception of Blade Cut Resistance where a Level 5 score is the highest).
A, B, C, D
  • A : Resistance to abrasion: based on the number of cycles required to abrade through the sample glove
  • B : Blade Cut resistance: based on the number of cycles required to cut through the sample at a constant speed
  • C : Tear resistance: based on the amount of force required to tear the sample
  • D : Puncture resistance: based on the amount of force required to puncture the sample with a standard sized point
Test Performance Level
0 1 2 3 4 5
A - Abrasion resistance (cycles) <100 100 500 2000 8000 -
B - Cut resistance (factor) <1.2 1.2 2.5 5.0 10.0 20.0
C - Tear resistance (newton) <10 10 25 50 75 -
D - Puncture resistance (newton) <20 20 60 100 150 -
Standard EN 374:2003


Penetration is the movement of a chemical or biological microorganisms through porous materials, seams, pinholes and other imperfections in a protective glove material at a non-molecular level.


The surface of gloves do not always act as solid barriers to liquids. Sometimes they can act as sponges, soaking up the liquids and holding them against the skin. It is therefore necessary to measure breakthrough or permeation times, or the time taken for the hazardous liquid to come in contact with the skin.

Protection from Chemicals and Micro-Organisms

This standard describes the ability of the gloves to protect the user against exposure to chemicals and biological microorganisms.
The EN374:2003 ‘Biohazard’ pictogram is to be used when the glove conforms to at least a performance level 2 for the Penetration test.
The EN374:2003 'Low Chemical resistant' or 'Waterproof' Beaker pictogram is to be used for gloves that do not achieve a breakthrough time of at least 30 minutes against at least three chemicals from the defined list, but complies with the Penetration test.
The EN374:2003 ‘Chemical resistant’ Conical Flask pictogram must accompanied by a 3-digit code at the bottom. This code refers to the code letters of 3 chemicals (from a list of 12 standard defined chemicals), for which a breakthrough time of at least 30 minutes has been obtained.
Code Chemical CAS # Class
A Methanol 67-56-1 Primary alcohol
B Acetone 67-64-1 Ketone
C Acetonitrile 75-05-8 Nitrile Compound
D Dichloromethane 75-09-2 Chlorinated Paraffin
E Carbone disulphide 75-15-0 Sulphur containing organic compound
F Toluene 108-88-3 Aromatic hydrocarbon
G Diethylamine 109-89-7 Amine
H Tetrahydrofurane 109-99-9 Heterocyclic and ether compound
I Ethyl acetate 141-78-6 Ester
J n-Heptane 142-82-5 Saturated hydrocarbon
K Sodium hydroxide 40% 1310-73-2 Inorganic base
L Sulphuric acid 96% 7664-93-9 Inorganic mineral acid