This report presents the results of a comparative evaluation of protective gloves for law enforcement and corrections applications.
While protective gloves are an important component of a law enforcement or corrections officers' personal protective gear, there has been no previous objective evaluation of the protective quality and performance of these gloves. In response, the National Institute of Justice assembled a qualified team to develop a comparative evaluation protocol and testing program for protective gloves. The findings presented in this report refer to evaluations conducted according to this protocol of three different types of protective gloves: Type A: pathogenic resistant (biohazard); Type B: cut resistant (blade); and Type C: puncture resistant (needle). The evaluation methodology used to assess each type of glove is presented. Fourteen models of Type A gloves were tested; all passed the pathogen-resistance test and all rated high on dexterity. Ten models of Type B gloves were tested; 6 rated high for dexterity, 3 rated moderate, and 1 rated low. Two Type B gloves rated high for cut resistance, five rated moderate, and three rated low. Seven Type B models rated high in transverse and longitudinal tear resistance, two rated high, and one rated low. One Type C model was tested; it rated moderate for dexterity, high for puncture resistance, and high for both types of tear resistance. Of the three models of gloves that claimed all types of protection, all three failed for pathogen protection; two rated high for dexterity and one rated moderate; one rated high for cut resistance, one rated moderate, and one rated low; and two rated high for puncture resistance and one rated low. Recommendations for selecting protective gloves for law enforcement and corrections applications are presented. Procedures for developing the test protocol for protective gloves are described and a listing of the participating glove manufacturers is provided. Tables, figures