1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT GLOVE FOR PROTECTION AGAINST FENTANYL THE PROBLEM Synthetic opioids, the most common of which is fentanyl, caused 20,145 deaths in the U.S. in 2016 – more than double the total from the year before and an increase of some 500 percent in just three years. This is an epidemic, and first responders are on the front line – and at tremendous risk. Fentanyl is a serious threat to anyone who comes in contact with it, whether it is inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through a mucous membrane or the skin. Police and EMTs, forensic lab technicians, TSA personnel or anyone else are often at risk for drug interaction. It’s not as simple as avoiding the drug in its powdered form. First responders often find overdose victims who have vomited, and the drug remains dangerous even when mixed with bodily fluids. The very act of treating a fentanyl overdose victim carries significant risk for personnel. THE SOLUTION Anyone working in environments where fentanyl may be present should wear the appropriate PPE, including gloves tested for protection against fentanyl. These gloves should meet industry guidelines for breakthrough and exposure. Just as importantly, safety managers should ensure gloves have been tested via a real-world overdose simulation. That means gloves should be tested and protect not only against fentanyl, but also against gastric acid. Human stomach acids can be strong, aggressive compounds and require appropriate hand protection just as any other harmful material would. Understanding the necessary duality of hand protection in these fentanyl overdose scenarios is critical to choosing the appropriate gloves. Ansell is the only glove manufacturer with solutions tested for protection against fentanyl and gastric acids. The Microflex LifeStar TM EC gloves have been tested to provide protection against these real-world fentanyl exposures for first responders and security and medical personnel. About Fentanyl Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, similar to heroin but up to 50 times more potent. Just 2 to 3 milligrams of fentanyl is enough to cause respiratory depression, arrest and possible death – a measurement equivalent to five to seven grains of table salt. The Tests 1. Ansell researchers work with a section of glove film, placing the chemical – in this case fentanyl or gastric acid – on one side and a chemical detector on the other side in accordance with ASTM D6978-05 Standard Practice for Assessment of Medical Gloves to Permeation by Chemotherapy Drugs. 2. The point at which the chemical reaches a predetermined threshold on the opposite side of the glove film is called the breakthrough time. 3. These tests are typically run for 240 minutes for chemotherapy agents, and if there is no breakthrough in that time, the glove’s breakthrough time is listed as greater than 240 minutes. 4. The Microflex LifeStar TM EC gloves have tested to greater than 240 minutes. www.ansell.com Ansell, ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Ansell Limited or one of its affiliates. © 2018 Ansell Limited. All Rights Reserved.
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