When selecting protective apparel, it’s important to note the difference between ASTM testing standards. While the testing procedures for both standards are similar and both require testing for up to four hours, some critical differences exist between the two. ASTM D6978 is traditionally used to measure the length of time it takes selected chemicals to permeate the glove material (breakthrough time), up to four hours. For this standard breakthrough, time is determined when the permeation rate reaches 0.01 μg/cm2/min. In the ASTM F739 Standard, the breakthrough time is determined when the permeation rate reaches 0.1 μg/cm2/min.
The ASTM D6978 standard is not only a more sensitive test method, it also outlines the drugs, concentration, and temperature by which the product must be tested, creating a higher standard due to a more sensitive permeation rate.