What are the common certification marks for gloves?

When searching on the Internet or checking the stores that sell gloves, we will find that there are many kinds of gloves. How can we save time and quickly locate the gloves we need? In addition to judging the material and thickness of gloves, we can also quickly determine the performance of gloves through the logo printed on the back of gloves.


Basic style of glove mark

Most reusable gloves contain markings similar to those described above. Generally, there are four protection standards for common gloves: physical protection, chemical protection, food contact, and medical products. We will introduce these four types of protective signs in detail below.

Physical protection EN 388 standard


Physical performance is used to identify the protection level of mechanical injury. The general basic performance is divided into the following four categories:

  1. a) Abrasion resistance – rated 0-4
  1. b) Blade cutting resistance – rated 0-5
  1. c) Tear resistance – rated 0-4
  1. d) Puncture resistance – rated 0-4

For this criterion, we can consider that the higher the score, the better the performance. 0 represents failure. X indicates that no test was performed.

Note: For more information about the 2016 revision of this standard, click here.

Chemical resistance performance EN 374 standard


According to EN ISO 374:2016, gloves were tested for resistance to 18 different chemicals, while EN 374:2003 tested 12 chemicals. Therefore, the new infiltration table includes six new categories. The following is a complete list of chemicals used to test gloves:

Code letter Chemical CAS Number 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 hydrocarbon
E Carbon disulphide 75-15-0 Sulphur containing organic compound
F Toluene 108-88-3 Aromatic hydrocarbon
G Diethylamine 109-89-7 Amine
H Tetrahydrofuran 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, oxidising
M Nitric acid 65% 7697-37-2 Inorganic mineral acid, oxidising
N Acetic acid 99% 64-19-7 Organic acid
O Ammonium hydroxide 25% 1336-21-6 Organic base
P Hydrogen peroxide 30% 7722-84-1 Peroxide
S Hydrofluoric acid 40% 7664-39-3 Inorganic mineral acid
T Formaldehyde 37% 50-00-0 Aldehyde

In addition to adding more comprehensive chemical tests, EN 374:2016 also includes a new category in which gloves are classified as Type A, Type B or Type C – depending on the amount of chemicals they provide protection against. Most chemical resistant gloves will be classified as Class A – gloves can prevent the penetration of at least six of the above chemicals for 30 minutes or more.

Prevention of microorganisms

Although EN 374-1:2003 tests the resistance of gloves to microorganisms, EN ISO 374-5:2016 specifically classifies gloves according to whether they provide protection against bacteria, fungi and/or viruses to improve safety. The specific microorganisms (if any) that the gloves provide protection against will be listed below the biohazard symbol shown below.


Food Contact EN 1186 Food Safety Standard

The product is made of food approved ingredients. Perform migration tests to ensure that items in contact with food meet the required standards. If these two criteria are met, the food contact symbol can be applied to gloves and/or packaging. The framework regulation for food contact is Regulation (EC) 1935/2004.

The EN1186 standard defines four kinds of food:

Water based – where ordinary water is used as a food simulant

Alcohol – 10% ethanol solution as food simulant

Acid – 3% acetic acid solution as food simulant

Fat – Various equivalents are used as food stimulants. Usually these are isooctane, 95% ethanol or vegetable oil

Normally for gloves, repeat extraction for 2 hours at 40 ° C to simulate repeated transient contact

EN1186 requires that the maximum total migration from articles to food is limited to 10mg/dm 2, and any article in contact with food must meet this requirement.

EN1186 also allows reduction factors to be applied to fatty foods. This is based on the fat content of the food and the ability of specific foods to extract ingredients from items in contact with the food. There is no reduction coefficient for high-fat foods such as oil, while the reduction coefficient for meat is 4, and that for roasted nuts with shells is 5.

This means that even if the overall migration limit of 10mg/dm 2 is exceeded, the article may still be suitable for use, depending on the type of food being processed.


If the back of the gloves contains this mark, that is, the gloves have been provided with samples to a third-party testing agency after production and before sales, and experiments have confirmed that the gloves can be safely used in the field of food contact.

Medical equipment certification EN 455 medical gloves


EN455 defines four requirements and tests. EN455-1 no hole requirements and tests, EN455-2 physical performance requirements and tests, EN455-3 biological evaluation requirements and tests, EN455-4 shelf life requirements and tests.

Part 1. Requirements and tests for no holes

Gloves must pass this test to prove that they are effective barriers against microorganisms. Statistical samples taken from a batch of gloves are checked for pinholes and leaks by adding water. Gloves must meet the acceptance quality limit (AQL) of 1.5 or higher before they can be used as inspection, surgery or surgical gloves. AQL 1.5 is equivalent to a maximum risk of 1.5%, that is, any given glove contains a pinhole that allows water and microorganisms to pass through the membrane.

Part 2. Requirements and Tests for Physical Performance

This standard includes testing of glove size and physical strength. Physical performance requirements depend on glove classification (surgery/examination) and material (latex, nitrile rubber, vinyl, polyethylene).

Part 3. Requirements and Tests for Biological Evaluation

This standard includes testing of potentially hazardous materials that may affect the wearer or be transferred to the patient. These materials include:

Endotoxin: toxic substance left by some bacteria, which can cause fever (only for sterile gloves)

Latex protein: as natural rubber latex is a natural product, it contains protein and enzyme, which can lead to severe allergic reaction (type I allergy) in genetically susceptible people

Chemical residue: the most common accelerator used in the manufacturing process of the product itself. These substances may cause allergic dermatitis (type IV allergy) in some individuals with genetic tendency. The above materials are tested individually and collectively by using limited animal tests according to separate standard ISO10993

Powder: The powder content of powder free medical gloves should be less than 2mg of each glove EN455 disposable medical gloves.

Part 4. Determination of shelf life

The standard requires a complex test network to determine how long gloves are suitable for use when stored in warehouses or end-user storerooms. All calculations based on this test must be checked by comparison with real-time aged samples once they are available. The maximum warranty period that can be claimed for medical gloves is five years from the date of production.

Purchase from reliable glove manufacturers

Sunny Bryant Industrial is a manufacturer of industrial rubber gloves with 30 years of experience. At the same time, it also has a profound accumulation in the PPE industry. Please contact us and let us provide you with industrial gloves that meet your needs.