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Certified Hand Protection for Responders At Risk To Fentanyl Exposure

As responders battle the ongoing fentanyl epidemic, MDS recognizes the urgent need for certified safe hand protection and adds a fentanyl-resistant category to its’ hand protection segment. Responders can +easily shop and select a preferred style by clicking here.   


As the opioid crisis continues, one potent synthetic drug has emerged as a critical player in this devastating epideImages of Fenantylmic: fentanyl. Fentanyl is a potent Schedule II synthetic opioid drug manufactured to treat severe pain in humans and animals. Illicitly synthesized fentanyl analogs, also referred to as non-pharmaceutical fentanyls (NPF), are mass-produced in Mexico using precursor chemicals largely from China and trafficked via cartels into the U.S. black market.

“Worst Drug Crisis in American History”                                                              

This addictive drug is responsible for nearly 70% of the United States' 107,000+ drug overdose deaths in the past year and for Americans ages 18-45, drug overdose fatalities exceeded auto accidents as a cause of death for the first time since 2016.  

Fentanyl overdoses in the United States has been so rampant that it has U.S. President Joe Biden seeking diplomatic engagements with leaders of China and Mexico to help halt the flow of fentanyl and the ingredients used to produce this deadly drug in hopes of combating the “worse drug crisis in American history”.  

While fentanyl potency has raised concern for users, the danger stretches far beyond the scope of illicit drug consumption; affecting first responders, drug enforcement agency, clinicians, law enforcement, correction officers, government and public works employees, and anyone inadvertently exposed to this deadly substance. Safe work practices when exposure to opioids is suspected or confirmed is a critical prevention measure that can keep first responders safe, and the proper hand protection provides an essential line of defense for those on the frontlines of this public health emergency.

As the fentanyl crisis wreaks havoc, various professionals find themselves at the forefront of this battle, facing the risk of acute opioid intoxication themselves. When a mere 2 to 3 milligrams of fentanyl, equivalent to 5 to 7 grains of salt, can cause respiratory depression, arrest, and even death, these professionals need all the protection they can get. Because fentanyl has been known to be able to penetrate human skin, prevention strategies that include personal protection equipment (P.P.E.) such as fentanyl tested gloves are critical for personal safety.

Routes of Occupational Exposure to Fatal Toxins in the WorkplaceGraph of Opioid Related Deaths

Because fentanyl is 50 percent stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, bulk fentanyl is typically mixed with other narcotics because it is a cheap filler material.

Makeshift laboratories are discovered in apartments, houses, garages, sheds and storage facilities. These operations are known as cutting houses, and commonly associated with heroin and cocaine.

As a result, various workers may come into contact with fentanyl through inhalation, skin or eye contact, incidental ingestion, or accidental inoculation with sharps or needles and are told to assume and plan that repackaging operations have fentanyl analogs present and take safety precautions that eliminate or limit inhalation or dermal contact. Some examples of workers that may face occupational exposure:

  • Law Enforcement, Corrections and Parole Officers: Police officers, sheriff deputies, and other law enforcement personnel face the risk of occupational exposure to fentanyl analogs and drug paraphernalia when investigating, frisking, arresting, and transporting detainees who have used fentanyl or who have overdosed.
  • Emergency Medical Technicians: Ambulance transport, laboratory analysts and emergency room personnel are exposed to multiple types of illicit drugs when treating individuals who have used fentanyl or have overdosed.
  • Environmental Services, Response and Cleanup Workers: Workers cleaning up affected crime scenes, spills, or abandoned drug labs may face occupational exposure to fentanyl and drug paraphernalia.
  • Public Employees: Workers in public employers such as the Department of Transportation, highway maintenance, parks, and environmental conservation, may face occupational exposure to fentanyl and drug paraphernalia when removing needles and drug paraphernalia from public roads, highways, and parks. Other workers not normally thought to be at risk of opioid exposure include librarians who are finding overdosed individuals.

Certified Testing

MDS Associates has recognized this urgent need and offer responders a portfolio of professional hand protection that includes work gloves and single-use latex-free nitrile gloves in various colors and thickness. Both styles are thoroughly tested and proven to offer superior protection against fentanyl with several styles offering additional protection against corrosive gastric acid found in the vomit of overdose victims. In addition, these gloves meet stringent NIOSH standards for safe handling of fentanyl in independent lab tests and meet ASTM D6978-05 testing guidelines, providing over 240 minutes of breakthrough and exposure resistance.

Safeguarding your team is easy! Shop MDS for dual-layer nitrile gloves that feature barrier breach detection, extra thick black nitrile gloves, Greencircle® certified biodegradable nitrile gloves, nitrile gloves with extended cuffs, hi-viz orange nitrile gloves, fully coated seamless knit work gloves with anti-viral treatment, extended-use nitrile gloves with unique grip textures and more!

By equipping those on the frontlines with these ground breaking fentanyl safe gloves, we can help safeguard their wellbeing while they confront the challenges of the fentanyl crisis head-on. All you need to do now is tap the link and …

+shop for Fentanyl-Resistant Gloves here

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