This study was conducted to evaluate decontamination methods for a glove material/liquid chemical combination that, together, demonstrated matrix release. A glove material/liquid chemical combination was assumed to exhibit matrix release if the following two conditions were met: (1) the glove material, which was exposed to the challenge liquid chemical until equilibrium saturation was attained, slowly released the entrapped challenge chemical for at least 72 h after exposure; and (2) upon re-exposure to the challenge chemical, the glove material demonstrated a significantly different breakthrough time. A neoprene/n-butyl acetate (glove/liquid chemical) combination, meeting these conditions, was investigated in detail. Neoprene/p-xylene and nitrile/n-butyl acetate combinations were reviewed, but did not exhibit matrix release.
Three decontamination methods were tested: (1) air drying at 25°C, (2) 15-min manual detergent wash, and (3) elevated temperature washing-drying. For the neoprene/n-butyl acetate combination, both air drying and a single 15-min manual detergent wash were ineffective in cleaning the saturated matrix. Breakthrough time changes and measurement of the concentration of n-butyl acetate in the material demonstrated that the matrix was still saturated. However, elevated temperature washing and drying (45°C wash and 95°C drying) did remove the residual n-butyl acetate from the neoprene.