17 September 2019

EN ISO 21420 to replace EN 420


Introducing EN ISO 21420

The new glove standard EN ISO 21420 has been introduced as a replacement for EN 420 and ensures the materials manufacturers of PPE use in their products do not adversely affect the health or safety of the user. It will also respond to the growing trend in standardisation to address the topic of "innocuousness" and take into consideration the requirements of the EU PPE Regulation as ISO 21420, helping to address the Essential Health and Safety aspects of Annex II. The new ISO 21420 will provide further alignment with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, legislation on hazardous substances or substances of very high concern.

Key changes manufacturers need to be aware of

  • Introduction of a new pictogram for electrostatic properties EN 16350
  • Removal of the protein content test in natural rubber gloves
  • Introduction of date of manufacture markings
  • Removal of minimal glove length requirements, unless required by a specific standard i.e. welding gloves
  • Other subtle changes concerning information for users, additional information on donning/doffing, product integrity checks before use

Key requirements

  • Chromium VI content in leather should be no more than 3mg/kg (Test method EN 17075)
  • Any metallic materials that could come into contact with the skin shall not release nickel in more than 0.5µg/cm2 per week (Test method EN 1811).
  • Azo colorants which release carcinogenic amines shall not be detectable (Test method ISO 17234-1 leather or ISO 14362-1 textile).
  • pH value shall be between 3.5-9.5 (Test method ISO 4045 leather or ISO 3071 textile).
  • DMFa (dimethylformamide) shall not exceed 0.1% weight/weight (Test method prEN 16778).
  • The levels of performance should be based on the lowest results obtained before and after cleaning cycles (consideration of care instructions for testing).
  • For gloves worn in ATEX environments, the electrostatic properties shall be tested (Test method EN 16350).

Important glove marking changes

Each protective glove shall be marked with:

  • Manufacturer’s name and postal address
  • Glove designation
  • Size designation
  • Date of manufacturing (month and year)

New EN ISO 21420 Protective Gloves Pictograms


Source: BSI