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AQL and Disposable Glove Protection

Views: 56     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 03-28-2022      Origin: Site

AQL and Disposable Glove Protection

AQL stands for "Acceptable Quality Level" and refers to an internationally used quality standard for measuring the % of pinhole defects in disposable gloves. Yes you heard that right, all gloves can have some tiny pinholes in them; this includes all nitrile, latex, sterile and non sterile gloves. The test process involves checking batches of gloves during manufacturing to see how watertight they are.

In simple terms, when choosing a supplier and brand for your disposable gloves,  the most important thing to remember is that the lower the AQL number, the greater the amount of the protection you will have for your hands. However, the downside is that the lower the AQL, then the higher the price will be because the quality & manufacturing costs are considerably higher. And we all know that quality costs more, and gloves are no exception.

The most common AQL numbers in the UK and Europe are 1.5 and 4.0 but you can also get 1.0 and 0.65 which are often used in some specialist areas such as chemotherapy clinics and micro biology labs. Some gloves that are imported from the USA often have a AQL of 2.5 as they have a poorer standard acceptable for non sterile examination gloves (FDA).

1.5 AQL is by far the most popular standard in the medical world across Europe as it is the international standard for medical grade disposable gloves. Yes 1.0 and 0.65 will give you more protection but for general pre-hospital, emergency and first aid use, 1.5 has been proven to be more than suitable. Gloves with an AQL of 4.0 are not suitable for medical use, they are for industrial and domestic use e.g. cleaning, garages, engineering, dirty factory jobs etc.

All glove manufacturers are obliged to print the AQL on each box if their gloves are registered for protection against chemicals and micro organisms.

Gloves from quality manufacturers will also be made in accordance with EN 455. This standard specifies requirements and tests for gloves for medical purpose.

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