ChemRest Know You’re Protected

Selecting the right chemical resistant glove for the job is obviously complicated. In this IHW exclusive interview with Gilbert LeVerne, Jr., Director, Marketing at SHOWA International, we discussed a wide range of issues that can help protect workers from chemical burns, including the company’s Chemical Resistant Glove Directory.

Q: Employees where chemicals are manufactured are obviously at risk for hand injuries due to chemical exposure. Other industries are also high-risk for such hazards (i.e., mining, painting, construction, welding, etc.). How can workers unintentionally expose themselves
to harmful solutions?

Mishaps, misunderstandings and lack of training: Proper training and certifications are paramount to a safe work environment, especially where harmful chemicals are in use.

Q: What is “chemical permeation,” and how can it be combatted in industries where chemical exposure is a risk? 

Permeation is a process by which a chemical can pass through a protective film without going through pinholes, pores or other visible openings. Individual molecules of the chemical enter the film and “squirm” through by passing between the molecules of the glove compound or film. This is combatted by wearing the proper hand protection within the regulated time of exposure to chemicals.

Q: How does permeation differ from the term “penetration,” when used to describe a chemical process? 

Permeation is described as something moving through a substance by diffusion or going through the pores of it by being spread onto it. Penetration of something is when a certain chemical can find its way into the pores and imperfections of a certain material.

Q: There seem to be many complications that workers might suffer from chemical burns. What are some of these complications? 

Serious chemical burns can cause long-term complications:

  • Many people have pain and scarring.
  • Burns in the eye can lead to blindness.
  • Swallowing harmful chemicals can lead to problems in your gastrointestinal tract, potentially leading to permanent disability.
  • Some acid burns can cause the loss of fingers or toes.
  • Burns can cause emotional issues including anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Long-term effects for employees and employers differ and are reviewed by incident. Employers lose tens of thousands of dollars in work compensation for injuries at work, loss of valuable employees due to permanent injuries, OSHA violations, etc.

Q: What are the three “service pillars” of SHOWA’s ChemRest Platform? 

Educate, Evaluate, Equip

Q: What type of education does SHOWA provide for employees on chemical resistance and permeation?

SHOWA has 70 years of experience with chemical hand protection. Our sales professionals, our technical team and our online services all are available to our customers at any time. We make complex chemical applications much easier for our customers to understand and prevent against.

Q: How is this education or training delivered? 

We do in-person training, video conferencing and videos. 

Q: Has the company conducted any after-education assessments to see if their training/education programs help to mitigate a company’s injury statistics? 

Yes, we utilize our Sentinel evaluation program to measure all of our recommendations, training, injury prevention, cost savings, etc.

Q: What is SHOWA’s process for determining a company’s best choice(s) for chem-resistant gloves?

Application Type/Chemical Name/CAS #/Time of Exposure are the main areas that we cover before recommending the proper glove.

Q: Can you briefly explain SHOWA’s global labeling system and its various benefits? 

We utilize the EN-374 TYPE A, B, C labeling system*. This labeling system is throughout our online assets, catalogs,
inner packaging, dispensers, marketing materials, training materials, etc.

Q: Selecting the right chemical resistant glove for the job is obviously complicated. What is the Chemical Resistant Glove Directory ( and how does it help users navigate the myriad issues they might face in choosing the right hand protection? 

Our mission is to educate, evaluate and equip. We do this most effectively in-person, but that is not always an option. We developed to bridge the gap in an easy to use interface with our chemical glove portfolio of products. Go to; register as a user; and walk through the clear steps to finding the chemical, the exposure time and the product to protect. 

SHOWA professionals are experts at using and can also be of great benefit to aiding the user in navigating the site. 

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