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The Science Behind

ASTM D6978-05

Certified Fentanyl-Resistant Gloves

If you’re a responder treating an overdose victim, or a law enforcement officer handling drug paraphernalia, you require specialized protective measures. The hand protection you wear can be the difference between returning home safe or a trip to the hospital. The ASTM D6978-05 testing standard was created to ensure responders that the glove they wear is an effective barrier against fentanyl exposure for 240 minutes.


The testing of chemotherapy gloves involves a series of stringent protocols to guarantee their ability to withstand exposure to hazardous substances.  

One of the key standards for evaluating the safety effectiveness of the gloves you wear against fentanyl and other fatal toxins is the ASTM D6978-05 (Standard Practice for Assessment of Resistance of Medical Gloves to Permeation by Chemotherapy Drugs).

The ASTM D6978-05 standard was designed to assess the chemical permeation resistance of gloves by chemicals and chemotherapy drugs for responder safety purposes. This includes a battery of tests specifically designed to evaluate the gloves' resistance to permeation by chemotherapy drugs, setting a high bar for their protective capabilities.

Gloves that claim to meet the ASTM D6978-05 standard have demonstrated their ability to act as an effective barrier against fentanyl exposure for 240 minutes.


Chemical permeation cannot be detected by the human eye. Unless the chemical is cleaned off properly, it will be absorbed into the glove material on a molecular level, emerging inside the glove as a vapor to enter the skin and bloodstream. This can cause serious long term injuries that appear later on.

Permeation resistance is a critical factor in determining a gloves' protective abilities for fentanyl, chemotherapy, carfentavil and other fatal toxins such as gastric acid produced from overdose vomit. Permeation measures the ability of the glove material to prevent the passage of fentanyl molecules through the glove’s protective layer. Chemotherapy or fentanyl tested nitrile gloves are engineered with a focus on high permeation resistance, ensuring that the gloves you wear serve as an impermeable protective barrier against this toxic opioid.


Beyond lab studies, real-world tests are also conducted where simulations are designed to mimic real time scenarios where first responders might be exposed to fentanyl. These simulations provide a practical assessment of the gloves' performance in dynamic and challenging environments, ensuring their reliability in the field.


While chemotherapy tested gloves are designed to withstand exposure to certain hazardous substances, a glove approved safe for use with chemotherapy compounds does not necessarily guarantee protection against fentanyl. The testing protocols for chemotherapy gloves, such as ASTM D6978-05, focus on evaluating the resistance of gloves to permeation by specific chemotherapy drugs. These drugs have unique properties and the testing is tailored to assess that gloves' performance in the context of chemotherapy drug handling.

Because fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid it could have different chemical characteristics than chemotherapy drugs, and exposure scenarios can vary. Therefore, it's crucial for law enforcement, medical personnel and responders exposed to fentanyl to select a glove that explicitly claims it has been tested against fentanyl according to the ASTM D6978-05 standard.


When selecting gloves for first responders who may be exposed to fentanyl, it's recommended that they check that the glove has comprehensive testing information that includes any specific testing certifications or standards related to fentanyl protection. Always refer to the manufacturer's specifications and certifications to ensure that the chosen gloves meet the required safety standards for fentanyl exposure.

When confronting responder safety, understanding the science behind protective gear is vital. Chemotherapy tested nitrile gloves, proven through rigorous testing standards, stand as a testament to to safeguard those who safeguard us. By equipping those on the frontlines with chemotherapy tested nitrile gloves that meet or exceed ASTM D6978-05 standards, we ensure that those on the front lines have the most advanced defense against fentanyl exposure so they can confront the challenges of this opioid epidemic crisis head-on.

MDS Associates has recognized this urgent need and offer responders a portfolio of ASTM D6978-05 certified professional hand protection that includes work safety gloves and single-use latex-free nitrile gloves in various colors, lengths and thickness. Tested and proven to offer superior permeation protection against fentanyl, carfentanil, chemotherapy compounds and other fatal toxins, several glove styles offer additional protection against corrosive gastric acid found in the vomit of overdose victims.

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