EN ISO 21420:2020

EN ISO 21420:2020

EN ISO 21420:2020


EN ISO 21420:2020 General standards for protective gloves 

BS EN 420 has been reviewed and replaced by a new standard EN ISO 21420:2020 ‘Protective gloves – General requirements and test methods’. As it is a ISO standard, this is now a Worldwide standard.



The requirements of the new standard cover all protective gloves; such as protective gloves; arm protectors; gloves fitted to containment enclosures, mittens and pot holders.



As the PPE Regulation states, products must be ‘state-of-the-art’. Protective gloves will need to be tested in accordance with EN ISO 21420. This should be done in time for any new EU type-examination applications.


The standard focuses on key product safety and performance issues such as: 

  • Innocuousness
  • Size
  • Dexterity
  • Package marking
  • Instructions for use

Key points from the new EN ISO 21420 standard:


The design and manufacture of gloves should ensure the product provides protection when used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, without harm to the end user.



With the aim that protective gloves shall not adversely affect health, safety and hygiene of the end user, changes were made to the standard. This creates a greater alignment of Chemical testing with REACh Requirements. Key points that we should be aware of are:


  • Any metallic materials that could come into contact with the skin shall not release nickel in more than 0.5µg/cm2 per week (Test method EN 1811)
  • DMFa (dimethylformamide) shall not exceed 0.1% weight/weight (Test method prEN 16778)



The standard has removed the requirement of minimal glove length requirements, unless required by a specific standard.


Product Labelling


Product labelling should include a date of manufacture markings, and improved information for users, additional information on donning/doffing, and advice on product integrity checks before use.



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Supermax Healthcare UK is the European subsidiary of Supermax Corporation Berhad, the world’s 2nd largest manufacturer of disposable examination gloves. Our European Headquarters are based in Peterborough from where we distribute to the whole of Europe.

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