Do Gloves Protect Against Fentanyl? What You Need to Know

A law enforcement officer wears Gloveworks black nitrile gloves while holding a walkie talkie.

Fentanyl is a national health menace. The damage it causes is far-reaching and heartbreaking, and first responders are well aware of the dangers it poses in even casual contact.

Up to 100 times stronger than morphine, this synthetic opioid was developed for managing extreme pain in cancer patients. It has also been subverted as a highly addictive “recreational” drug, added to heroin or mixed into other drugs that pose potentially fatal risks to unknowing victims.

There is no FDA certification for disposable gloves against fentanyl beyond the recommendation to use nitrile gloves with a minimum thickness of 5 ± 2 mils.

Start with fentanyl-rated nitrile

AMMEX offers two exam-grade disposable gloves that deliver degrees of protection against permeation by fentanyl: Gloveworks Exam Black Nitrile Gloves (GWBEN) and AMMEX Professional Exam Blue Nitrile Gloves (ACNPF). Both are rated for resistance to fentanyl for up to 240 minutes based on the ASTM D6978 standard. ACNPF also is tested for resistance to permeation by chemotherapy drugs under the same standard.

Being constructed from premium nitrile, both gloves resist punctures, rips, and tears better than comparable latex or vinyl disposable gloves. GWBEN, at 6 mils thick, is an excellent choice for first responders, police, and security personnel who must interact with the public. At 3 mils, ACNPF is designed for use in clinics and other medical environments.

They also deliver barrier protection against bodily fluids, pathogens, and contaminants, as well as top-notch fit, feel, and comfort.

Make sure customers have what they need

If you have customers who need fentanyl protection, these gloves are an excellent choice. Find out what they are already buying, and whether it passes the ASTM permeation test.

In 2021, more than 71,000 people died of synthetic opioid overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up from 58,000 in 2020. Fentanyl overdoses are among the leading causes of death in the country for people ages 18 to 45.

In another development that illustrates the insidious nature of fentanyl, concerns are being raised about “rainbow fentanyl” pills posing a potential threat to youths. The drug comes in bright colors and can be ingested as pills or powder, and they are extremely addictive. A number of recent incidents involving teens show the continuing breadth of the problem.

Protection must be the top priority

Nitrile gloves alone cannot provide impenetrable protection against fentanyl or any other substance. Gloves like GWBEN should, however, be standard equipment for any emergency medical technician, law enforcement officer, security professional, or government employee who works in areas with danger of exposure.

America’s opioid crisis is not going away soon, if ever. Outfitting workers with the best available protection should be a top priority. Log into your account at the AMMEX Online Portal to learn more about carrying these premium exam-grade nitrile gloves.

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