January 14, 2016

While there are many standards in hand safety set by both the American ANSI/ISEA 105 and European EN388, one area has been completely missing: hypodermic needlestick protection.

Both the ANSI/ISEA 105 and EN388 provide a puncture test that uses a blunt probe to measure the amount of force required to puncture through a sample material/glove. However, until now, there has been no standard for hypodermic needlestick resistance. Many glove manufacturers use the puncture test to measure needlestick resistance, but due to the bluntness of the probe, the puncture test is inadequate for determining needlestick resistance and in no way represents of the danger of a hypodermic needle.

Effective February 2016, the ANSI/ISEA 105 standard will be updated and published to include the ASTM F2878-10 needlestick puncture test, recognizing that this is a common potential exposure risk for the medical, sanitation, and recycling industries.

Testing Method

The ASTM F2878-10 test method uses a 25 gauge needle to determine the force required to cause a hypodermic needle to penetrate through protective clothing or material. The puncture probe (25G needle) travels at a 90˚ angle into a specimen at a velocity of 500mm/min. Results are reported in Newtons and the average of a minimum of 12 specimens are used to report the classification level (1-5 scale).

HexArmor® Needlestick Protection

While the ASTM F2878 is a new standard for ANSI/ISEA 105, HexArmor® has used this test method for years as a performance metric for all of our needlestick resistant products. Our SuperFabric® Brand Material has consistently outperformed the competition in not only needlestick resistance, but also in cut protection, which is typically an equally-important attribute for the sanitation and recycling industries.

If you have questions on needlestick testing or other hand safety standards, please contact a HexArmor® safety advisor.