Fentanyl is a national health concern. The damage it causes is far-reaching and heartbreaking, and first responders are well aware of the dangers it poses in even casual contact.
Up to 100 times stronger than morphine, this synthetic opioid was developed for managing extreme pain in cancer patients. It also has been subverted as a highly addictive “recreational” drug, added to heroin or mixed into other drugs that pose potentially fatal risks to unknowing victims.
Zoomget offers two exam-grade disposable gloves that deliver degrees of protection against permeation by fentanyl: 1st Choice 5 mil. Black Nitrile Exam Gloves (1MEBN) and 1st Choice 3 mil. Blue Nitrile Exam Gloves (1EN). Both are rated for resistance to fentanyl for up to 240 minutes based on the ASTM D6978 standard. 1EN is also tested to resist permeation by chemotherapy drugs under the same standard.
1MEBN, at 5 mils thick, is an excellent choice for first responders, police, and security personnel who must interact with the public. At 3 mils, 1EN is designed for clinics and other medical environments but is a great fit for any application involving potential exposure to bodily fluids, bloodborne pathogens, and contaminants. They also deliver top-notch fit, feel, and comfort.
In 2021, more than 71,000 people died of synthetic opioid overdoses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up from 58,000 in 2020. Fentanyl overdoses are among the leading causes of death in the country for people ages 18 to 45.
In another development that illustrates the insidious nature of fentanyl, concerns are being raised about “rainbow fentanyl” pills posing a potential threat to youths. The drug comes in bright colors and can be ingested as pills or powder, and they are extremely addictive. A number of recent incidents involving teens show the continuing breadth of the problem.
Nitrile gloves alone cannot provide impenetrable protection against fentanyl or any other substance. Gloves like 1MEBN should, however, be standard equipment for any emergency medical technician, law enforcement officer, security professional, or employee who works in areas with danger of exposure.
America’s opioid crisis is not going away soon, if ever. Outfitting workers with the best available protection should be a top priority.