Not without Gloves: Lacquer and Paint Thinners


Lacquer and paint thinners are harsh solvents that should not be handled without the correct personal protective equipment (PPE). This is because these substances, which are used in the construction, automotive, retail and maritime industries, present several health risks when they are not handled safely.

If certain workers use paint and lacquer thinners without gloves, they may experience dermatitis, skin irritation and numbness in the areas that come in in contact with the solvents. With repeated exposure to the chemicals, the side effects become more severe, ranging from liver disease to an increased risk of cancer, as indicated by material safety data sheets (MSDSs) for these solvents.

With these hazards in mind, always consider the following PPE for safe handling of paint and lacquer thinners:

The importance of disposable gloves
Disposable gloves protect workers’ hands while they use paint and lacquer thinners.

Nitrile gloves are perfect for handling these substances because they stand up to the specific chemicals that are typically found in these solvents. This is because they are made from a petroleum-based synthetic material that is designed to provide chemical resistance. According to an MSDS from GC Electronics, its paint thinner contains a mixture of toluene and hydrotreated naphtha – about 40-50 percent of each. Based on these chemicals, the data sheet recommended nitrile gloves for use because the material is resistant to this mixture.

Lacquer thinner, which has a higher solvency than paint thinner and is therefore a harsher substance, often contains chemicals such as methanol and hexane. Nitrile also provides sufficient resistance to these and other ingredients commonly found in lacquer thinners.

Workers should keep in mind the permeation times for each chemical in these solvents in relation to nitrile. For instance, the naphtha in a mixture will not wear down a nitrile glove quickly, but the permeation time could decrease if the solvent contains methyl ethyl ketone, which is not recommended for use with nitrile gloves. This chemical clearly degrades the glove material. Latex gloves are a better option for handling thinners with methyl ethyl ketone but for only a limited duration per glove pair.

Face masks
Paint and lacquer thinners can be used with spray applicators. Also, they are often present in lacquers and paint to thin those coatings for use with a spray applicator. To reduce the inhalation risk, workers should don N-95-rated face masks. These products will prevent individuals from directly inhaling the solvents during the spraying process. It is important to note face masks address the risk of particles from the spray solutions entering the nose and mouth but do not filter vapors. Depending on the compounds being sprayed, a respirator mask is appropriate for more dangerous chemical use.

The importance of on-site testing and glove changes
When selecting PPE for handling any chemical, it is important to conduct on-site testing. This is particularly true of paint and lacquer thinners, as chemical mixtures for these substances vary by manufacturer. Testing allows workers to have a more accurate picture of permeation times and degradation, which provides a better idea of how often workers must change gloves and which material works best based on the task.

The chemical being sprayed will set the tone for the best glove choice. The GlovePlus HD Heavy Duty Nitrile Exam Gloves are the most commonly used gloves for lacquer and paint thinners.

Stay tuned for the next installment in our series, which will cover the best PPE for salons.

AMMEXNot without Gloves: Lacquer and Paint Thinners
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Avoid Kinks in the Supply Chain with AMMEX


When you place an order with your disposable glove vendor, do you get everything in one shipment? During a busy season, waiting on products on backorder is not good for business, especially if you do not want to lose customers to the competition.

Partnering with AMMEX Corporation, getting the supply you need at the right time is not something you will worry about. We use top-notch supply chain management strategies to ensure your complete order arrives on time.

Understanding fill rate and accuracy
One metric that impacts the supply chain is fill rate. This percentage refers to the ratio of demand compared to the available supply. In other words, when you place an order, how much of that purchase does a vendor have waiting in its inventory to ship to you? Additionally, this refers to a single shipment, so items on backorder affect fill rate.

“AMMEX has a 99.8 percent shipping accuracy.”

Order accuracy is also integral supply chain management. Not only should customers receive 99.8 percent of their purchased items, but they also must receive exactly what they requested. Accuracy errors occur at various stages of the supply chain, which is why the formula for a perfect order accounts for warehousing, procurement, transportation and other stages.

Giving customers the products they want
Disposable gloves are a commodity and need-based product, which means they come with certain expectations. As indicated in John Warrillow’s book “The Automatic Customer,” you as a distributor do not want to deal with unnecessary hassles when maintaining your inventory. You expect all products to arrive at the same time and in a consistent quantity and quality to meet your projected demand. In turn, your customers want these products to be available when they need them. If all goes to plan, this process is a well-oiled machine that requires little attention.

However, if you are working with a vendor with a low fill rate and a overall order accuracy, the process is less harmonious. While you chase down shipments, your customers walk out the door to find another distributor with the products they need. Over time, you may consider the same action with your vendor.

“Shipping accuracy accounts for procurement, warehousing and other stages of the supply chain.”

Getting a worry-free experience with AMMEX
We at AMMEX understand how disruptions in our supply chain would impact your ability to ship orders to your customers on time. This is why one of our four key ideologies is to be consistent in our products and processes.

All of this is possible through proper forecasting. We are poised for significant growth in 2015 and beyond, and we factor that expansion into our supply chain management. This includes accounting for the growth our distributors experience while partnering with us, as well as creating ample room for successful delivery with a four-month lead time for our products, especially gloves.

One element that helps us with our forecasting is the shipping accuracy. While the industrial average is 99.6 percent for orders that are shipped out, AMMEX exceeds that figure at 99.8 percent.

Any vendor can sell you gloves. AMMEX is here to help you sell more and keep your inventory fully stocked. Contact an AMMEX representative today or contact us on our website to get started on becoming a distributor.

AMMEXAvoid Kinks in the Supply Chain with AMMEX
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Not without Gloves: Perchloroethylene


There are a number of things you shouldn’t touch without gloves, but AMMEX has you covered with superior barrier protection. Perchloroethylene is a non-flammable, colorless, volatile organic compound frequently used in dry cleaning applications. It is also known as tetrachloroethylene, PCE and PERC. While dry cleaning fabrics is the most common use for PERC, it is also used to manufacture other chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbons, rubber coatings, insulating fluid or cooling gas for electrical transformers, solvent soaps, printing inks, adhesives, leather treatments and automotive cleaners, among others.

Employees may be exposed to PERC if they work in a facility that dry cleans, degreases metal, produces chemicals, manufactures textiles or coats rubber, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

How are employees exposed to PERC?
Although PERC is the most common solvent used in dry cleaning, it poses serious health risks to workers, especially if employees regularly breathe in vapors or their skin comes into contact with the substance. Exposure may immediately lead to dizziness, blistering or irritation of the skin. Over time, exposure may cause loss of coordination, memory loss and delayed reaction times. Some studies have indicated PERC leads to an increased risk for esophageal, cervical, kidney, liver, skin, lung and bladder cancer, as well as lymphoma and leukemia, although it is unclear if other risk factors affect this. Several organizations, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), have classified PERC as a probable human carcinogen. Employees with heart, liver, kidney or lung diseases are at a heightened risk of the effects of PERC.

Dry cleaning workers may be exposed to high levels of this chemical when loading dirty clothes to a machine because contaminated air is forced out. In addition, removing clothes before a cycle is finished, transferring items, cleaning lint traps and changing solvent filters exposes employees to PERC.

How employers combat PERC exposure
Although most PERC-related health problems are caused by inhalation, the chemical may cause irritation after direct contact with the skin. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration limits PERC exposure in the workplace. Over the course of eight hours, workers should be exposed to no more than 100 parts PERC per million (PPM). The maximum PPM is 300. In addition to these federally regulated limits, facilities need to have the right protective gear on hand.

Industrial-grade latex and nitrile gloves protect workers who handle PERC, and face masks should be used to minimize exposure. AMMEX N95 Cone Masks are rated N95 by NIOSH, ensuring a high level of protection for employees.

Stay tuned for our next installment on lacquer thinner.

AMMEXNot without Gloves: Perchloroethylene
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Millimeters to Grams: Change in the Glove Industry


How can you be sure you are choosing the right gloves for the job? Currently, glove performance is measured with millimeter thickness. However, this measurement is not the most accurate due to variations in thickness across a single glove. Disposable gloves are thickest in the fingertips and thinnest in the wrists due to how they are dipped in the manufacturing process.

Thickness measurements in millimeters have the potential to vary based on which part of the glove is measured, which is frequently the palm. The glove industry is transitioning to measuring gloves by weight in grams rather than in millimeters. Gram weight circumvents the variations in thickness across a single glove. With this shift, the terminology will change as well. Rather than labeling gloves as thin, manufacturers will refer to them by their weight or use – such as lightweight or heavy duty.

When did the glove industry start the shift?
Around 2006, lighter weight gloves were introduced for the first time, but they were not well received because the original formulation of the gloves did not provide sufficient barrier protection. In 2009, lightweight gloves with a new formulation were reintroduced, offering more options for clients. Because of changes in technology, lightweight gloves have become more popular, with even 2 mil gloves being acceptable for some uses.

Difference between millimeters and grams
Gloves need to provide barrier protection for the hand. The move to gram measurements would help standardize quality in the glove industry, although gram weight has not been transitioned to the end user yet. It will also provide clearer guidance for glove purchasing decisions because certain weights may be better suited for specific purposes than others. The current standard is 3 mil and premium gloves are 5 mil or higher, but they will need to be measured at the wrist, fingertips and palm. With an allowable 0.3 gram variation in either direction, weight provides a more accurate measurement of gloves. Gram weight also is a more accurate reflection of the amount of material used in a glove and requires only a simple digital scale rather than the use of specific tools, such as a micrometer.

AMMEXMillimeters to Grams: Change in the Glove Industry
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Making the Grade: Posting Food Safety Scores


Consumers have become more concerned about what is in their food and how those products move from farm to table, and government regulators and restaurants around the world have stepped up to keep the public more informed about food safety. This trend is evident through posted food safety scores, which are becoming more visible to consumers.

The public wants to be in the know
Many of today’s consumers are cautious about the steps taken to process and serve their food. Food safety is of growing importance as indicated by widespread protests over genetically modified organisms, calls for improved labeling to detail nutrition facts and the public’s penchant for reading research about food processing to become savvier consumers.

“Food safety scores are becoming more visible to consumers.”

At the restaurant level, establishments are providing the details of their food safety inspections. Not only are consumers happy to have this information, they want to see comprehensive scores. In fact, a crowdfunded study commissioned by Dine Safe King County and conducted by researchers from the University of Washington’s Human Centered Design Department showed consumers want more than an overall pass/fail rating – they desire to see an itemized list of where restaurants are missing the mark.

With this trend in mind, how have regulators and members of food service industry responded?

How inspectors score restaurants
Local health departments assign food safety scores in various ways. These ratings are numerical, pass/fail or denoted with a letter-based grade. New York City, for example, evaluates restaurants using a points system, and point ranges correspond to a letter grade. Each violation accumulates more points, so to earn a passing grade, restaurants want as few points as possible.

To be transparent about these ratings, restaurants publish their scores. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services noted this includes posting the score or the entire report in the establishments.

Lawmakers in San Mateo County, California, implemented a new program to make these posted ratings easier for consumers to understand. This program will color code the score placards to match traffic signals: green means a restaurant passed, yellow indicates a conditional pass and red denotes a closed restaurant.

 

AMMEXMaking the Grade: Posting Food Safety Scores
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Chemical Resistance in Disposable Gloves


When working with certain abrasive chemicals, you need to understand the chemical resistance in disposable gloves and the protection that particular glove materials offer. In addition, length of exposure, conditions and chemical concentration impact the performance of the glove.

Consider degradation and breakthrough time
Gloves are rated on how well they withstand exposure to a certain chemical. Though there is not a standardized test, strength is typically scored by exposing the material to a test chemical. As a glove degrades, it may swell, wrinkle, get stiff or change color. In general, degradation determines whether a glove material is a good fit for a specific application.

In addition to degradation, gloves must be tested for permeation and breakthrough time if a chemical causes specific degradation to latex, nitrile or vinyl. Breakthrough time is the length of time between the initial contact with a chemical and when residue is detected on the inner side of the glove, which indicates how long workers are able to safely where the glove for barrier protection. Permeation is the way a chemical passes through a material on a molecular level without entering through the gloves’ pores, pinholes or other visible openings.

“Nitrile gloves have superior chemical resistance against common chemicals as well as many specialty chemicals, such as water treatment chemicals or industrial cleaning compounds.”

Understanding the conditions of glove use
With any type of glove, the length of exposure and concentration of the chemical may determine how resistant it is. For any intended use, it’s crucial to do on-site testing with any gloves so workers know how to protect themselves, especially if the facility uses chemical mixtures. Gloves are often tested for resistance to one chemical, but they may not be rated against specific mixtures.

For instance, AMMEX Gloveworks Latex Gloves offer barrier protection for food service, health care, dentistry, janitorial and industrial applications. Latex gloves offer secure protection against a variety of chemicals, but latex breaks down over time with continued exposure to certain chemicals, such as ethyl acetate, paint remover and rubber solvent. Latex is resistant to acetone, which may make these gloves a good fit for nail salons, especially compared to other materials.

Nitrile gloves may be better suited for automotive applications because they are more resistant to many of the chemicals used in this type of work such as gasoline and brake fluid. However, for any glove choice, it’s crucial to consider the resistance to specific chemicals that are used on the job.

Distributors who would like to learn more about available product materials, thicknesses and sizes to meet their needs should speak with their AMMEX sales representative or contact us on our website for more information.

AMMEXChemical Resistance in Disposable Gloves
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All about Allergies: Part 2 Synthetics


Natural rubber latex disposable gloves typically get most of the attention when it comes to allergies, but allergic reactions are also possible with synthetic glove materials like nitrile butadiene rubber and polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl). While allergies to these materials themselves are uncommon, the chemicals used in the production processes are common causes.

During the production of nitrile and vinyl gloves, manufacturers use various substances to turn the base ingredients into the final glove materials. These chemicals are in both the process to form the actual PVC and nitrile and to turn these materials into gloves.

To create vinyl, for example, petroleum is used in the manufacturing process. Petroleum is used to create naphtha, which is combined with other chemicals to form ethylene. The ethylene is combined with chlorine, and through two more transformations, this combination becomes polyvinyl chloride.

Allergy tiggers
With latex gloves, the allergic reactions usually stem from the proteins in the latex. With synthetics, the issue lies with the petroleum. While rare, petroleum allergies do occur in some individuals.

As a result of contact with the glove materials, individuals with petroleum allergies experience contact dermatitis, which may lead to skin irritation, hives, redness and blistering in more extreme cases. Respiratory effects, such as throat itching, coughing and wheezing, appear with allergic reactions to petroleum gas but not commonly with petroleum-based gloves.

“If certain individuals wear a glove that is too-tight, the skin will not be able to breathe inside the glove which may cause an irritation.”

Acknowledging indirect causes of irritation
Although petroleum allergies are rare, some nitrile and vinyl glove wearers will experience contact dermatitis. However, this reaction does not always occur because of the glove materials.

One common issue is an irritative substance on the hands. Certain substances, such as residual hand soap or a scented lotion, will not cause too much of a problem on an exposed hand, but the associated reaction to it will be more pronounced in some individuals when they have a glove pressing the substance to their skin.

This issue is more evident when a glove is too small. Overall, too-tight gloves create irritation and discomfort as the skin is unable to breathe inside the glove.

Key points about glove material allergies
Whether it is latex, nitrile or vinyl, glove users must ensure they have the right gloves for the job. This applies to selecting the right material for the application as well as the appropriate size.

Additionally, as individuals and employers attempt to accommodate allergies, they must also consider how the alternative glove materials will fare in their work environments.  For a wide variety of glove options ranging in material, thickness, and sizing contact an AMMEX representative today or contact us on our website to learn more.

AMMEXAll about Allergies: Part 2 Synthetics
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Global Trends in Food Processing


Food processing facilities follow the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) rules, but these food safety guidelines are the bare minimum facilities undertake to prevent contamination. In addition to HACCP, these facilities follow rules regarding high- and low-care (or high- and low-risk) areas.

High- and low-care areas establish physical barriers against contamination and relate to anything that creates a process, such as washing, salting and cooking. This not only applies to personal protective equipment (PPE), but also the facility itself. The regulations designate clear start and end points for different parts of the processing supply chain to prevent microbial growth and other types of contamination.

Here is an overview of how high- and low-care areas work:

What are high- and low-care areas?
When employing these guidelines, each facility has its own standards. However, one factor remains constant: As food products move further up the supply chain, the control standards become more strict. Essentially, as food goes from farm to table, it will move from low- to high-care areas.

“As food goes from farm to table, it will move from low- to high-care areas.”

As implied by the name, low-care areas require a lower standard of hygiene than high-care segments of a facility. Although food products in these areas may have contact with the environment, they are not at risk for additional contamination, according to Food Safety Magazine. Food processing steps to be completed in low-care areas include receiving, preparing and cooking food.

High-care areas have the utmost hygiene standards. Furthermore, these sections of the facility are temperature-controlled.

Before entering either of these areas, workers must change into the appropriate PPE at designated changing stations and wash their hands throughout the process. In the case of equipment moving between areas, these tools must undergo sanitation procedures.

How do facilities delineate high- and low-care areas?
Several factors establish the barriers between different sections of a food processing facility. These include installations and PPE, according to the British Retail Consortium’s Global Standards.

For the physical structure, a few features are present in both areas but more extensive in high-care sections: entrances; filtration systems to remove dust, microorganisms and airborne particles; and color coded floor markings. Color coding also applies to PPE, tools used for processing and appliances.

The physical segregation also includes transfer points. These are places in the facilities between low- and high-care areas where employees must complete certain steps to prevent contamination. Before workers or equipment pass from one area to the other, they must undergo the aforementioned hygiene and sanitation procedures in the transfer point. In some factories, employees cannot move between low- and high-care areas under any circumstances.

“As part of the segregation measures for low- and high-care areas, employees must wash their hands before moving from one area to the other.”

How do facilities establish a flow to prevent contamination?
Food processing plants have certain guidelines and layouts to further ensure activities in low-care areas do not affect high-care sections.

Drainage is one key concern. Any drainage systems in the facility must flow from a high-care area to a low-care area. This ensures no contaminates, such as blood from livestock, flow into a high-care section and come into contact with cooked foods.

Another aspect of flow is the cooking process. Because foods are raw when they begin cooking in a low-care area, BRC’s standards require double doors on cooking ovens for thorough segregation of cooked and uncooked food products. While some facilities use single-door ovens, they put additional sanitation measures in place to prevent contamination in lieu of a second physical barrier.

What is the global perspective?
More foods are processed now compared to previous years, which raises the chances that part of the supply chain takes place in another country. Not only does this refer to steps in the process, but it also applies to where the ingredients come from.

Different countries have varying degrees of regulation for food processing, and the U.S. has less intense rules compared to Europe and Asia. For instance, the European Union enforces good hygiene practices (GHP), which include extensive training to make certain food processing employees prevent contamination, in addition to HACCP. As shown through regulations regarding low- and high-care areas, HACCP, GHP and other food safety guidelines, increased scrutiny and care of food processing and food safety are growing globally.

AMMEXGlobal Trends in Food Processing
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Spring is the Busiest Season for Landscapers


Now that the snow has finally melted and the grass is starting to grow again, many people are starting to think about sprucing up their yards and gardens. Landscaping companies may field a higher volume of calls than normal. Therefore, it is important to have the right gear on hand for landscaping projects.

Even places that have been hit by recent droughts, such as California, are considering new landscaping options. Due to water restrictions that are in affect, many residents are thinking about replacing the existing flowers, shrubbery and grass in their yards with desert plants that require less water, according to Palm Springs CBS affiliate KESQ.

Landscapers must be sure to have all the protective gear they need at the ready to complete their contracted projects. Workers need the right gloves to protect their skin from thorns, fertilizers and pesticides. Gloveworks HD Orange Nitrile Glovesstretch synthetic vinyl gloves and GPX3 vinyl gloves are chemically resistant barriers for handling lawn and garden chemicals. Dipped work gloves are also perfect for landscapers. In addition, companies may need face masks to prevent employees from breathing in dirt and dust.

No matter how big or small the landscaping job, companies should be properly equipped with personal protective equipment to handle the task.

For more information, follow this link.

AMMEXSpring is the Busiest Season for Landscapers
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Barrier Protection Needs in the Beauty Industry


Whether customers seek no-chip manicures or a relaxing foot massage, nail and beauty technicians need barrier protection to guard themselves against harsh chemicals and pathogens. This presents a large sales opportunity for distributors of disposable gloves and masks.

Not only are salon owners looking out for the safety of their employees, but they are also liable to regulations from the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). These best practices and rules are in place for a good reason.

The chemicals used by technicians include acetone, toluene, methyl ethyl ketone and isopropyl acetate. Prolonged exposure to these substances via skin contact or breathing in the vapors leads to symptoms such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Skin, eye, mouth and nose irritation
  • Burns
  • Harm to fetuses of pregnant technicians
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Coughing fits and asthma attacks
  • Kidney and liver damage

With regard to biological risks, employees need protection against bloodborne pathogens.

To address these risks, salon owners should purchase a few types of barrier protection:

Disposable gloves
Several glove materials are fitting for the safety risks present in salons. Latex gloves, such as the LX3 and Gloveworks Industrial Latex, are suitable for guarding against chemicals and pathogens.

However, because of the growing prevalence of latex allergies, the industry is trending toward non-latex gloves, such as nitrile and vinyl. Though nitrile gloves, such as the X3, X3D, and AMMEX Indigo Nitrile Exam Gloves, are not recommended for use with acetone, technicians are able to use these gloves because they have limited exposure to the chemical. Stretch synthetic vinyl gloves are also suitable. With these alternatives, neither workers or customers are exposed to latex.

“Gloves protect nail technicians from pathogens and harsh chemicals.”

Masks
Not all masks provide equal results in nail and beauty salons. Many salons use ear loop face masks (ELFMs), which also protect customers from what workers exhale.

N95-rated masks are filtering face pieces. These products, such as the N95 face mask, are useful for nail buffing and applying acrylic powders because they filter out germs and dusts. To fully realize this protection, workers must have properly fitted masks. They will find proper fitting information on the mask packaging.

Reaching the wide open market
With the aforementioned information in mind, it’s not hard to see why the more than 375,000 nail technicians in the U.S. need barrier protection. Distributors who would like to learn more about products that are suitable for their salon clients should speak with their AMMEX sales representative or contact us on our website for more information.

AMMEXBarrier Protection Needs in the Beauty Industry
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