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Barrier Isolator/Glovebox Glove Dexterity Study

Author(s):  Park Young H, Pines E, Cournoyer M E

Issue:  Nov/Dec 2010 - Volume 14, Number 6
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Abstract:  In response to new, stricter safety requirements set out by the federal government, compounding pharmacists are investigating applications and processes appropriate for their facilities. One application, currently used by many industries, was developed by Los Alamos National Laboratories in the early days of defense work. A barrier isolator or “glovebox” is a containment device that allows work within a sealed space while providing protection for people and the environment. The operations at Plutonium Facility (TA-55) in Los Alamos National Laboratories involve various amounts of plutonium. Gloveboxes are used to handle plutonium, and glovebox gloves are the weakest part of this engineering control. Currently a lead-loaded glove made from Hypalon is used. The lead-loaded gloves are compared to unleaded gloves with respect to dexterity and its effect on the outcome of any task performance. Experiments have been conducted on two models of unleaded gloves (15-mil thick Hypalon gloves and 30-mil thick Hypalon gloves), as well as 30-mil thick lead-loaded gloves. The objective of this research is to study the effect of lead-loaded gloves versus unleaded gloves on task performance. We use inferential statistical analysis of this data to support scientific judgment of the probability that the observed difference between tested gloves is dependable or that any difference noted might have happened by chance.

Related Keywords: Young H. Park, PhD, E. Pines, PhD, M.E. Cournoyer, PhD, environmental protection, workplace safety, engineering control, glovebox, barrier isolator, glove dexterity, unleaded gloves, lead-loaded gloves


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