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Impact of the publication of EN ISO 21420:2020 (the new EN 420)

Posted in PPE on 2020-09-11 by CTC
EN ISO 21420 :2020 is a revision of the EN 420 :2003+A1 :2009. Note: the new number 21 is due to the integration of the standard in the ISO system.


EN ISO 21420 is applicable and required for all PPE gloves. It defines the general rules for comfort, innocuousness, marking, packaging and user notice.

The EN ISO 21420 will replace the EN 420:2003 + 1:2009 when EN ISO 21420 will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. From a standardization point of view and for the CEN, EN 420 will be deleted after September 30th, 2020.

Therefore, we highly recommend you to apply EN ISO 21420:2020 for all your coming certification requests.

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What will happened for existing certificates ?

This new revision does not imply to revise the existing certificates which remain valid until their date of expiry.


What are the manufacturer's responsibilities ?

It is the responsibility of the manufacturers to ensure their PPE remain in conformity with the state of art. Therefore, the manufacturer has to verify independently whether their productions stay in conformity with the applicable requirements, as for example REACh requirements.


EN ISO 21420:2020, What is new?


The new EN ISO 21420 is clearer and more explicit than the previous EN 420. The list of substances to check is now given:

  • pH of all materials now including rubber and plastic. Each material shall be tested separately.
  • Chromium VI in leather and each leather type and each colours shall be tested separately
  • Azo colorants which release carcinogenic amines
  • DMFa (dimethylformamide) in glove containing PU (1 000 mg/kg)
  • PAH in rubber or plastic materials in direct contact with skin (1 mg/kg) whether the glove is intended for private or professional use
  • Nickel in metallic parts in prolonged contact with skin


For reusable multilayer gloves, when the wearer takes off the glove, the lining must not come out of the glove.

Minimum length

No more minimum glove lengths requirement except if a minimum length is required by the specific use standard (welders, firefighters…)

Note: the test method is new.

Hand sizing system

EN ISO 21420 recommend the same hand sizing system as before. The new is that you can now use your own hand sizing system. In this case, hand circumference and hand length by size shall be detailed in the user instructions and the technical file.

Note: hand sizing system is different than glove length.


There is a change in the test method, the cylinder must be held at the fingertips for 5 seconds before releasing it. It is not a big change but it can be very important for certain gloves where dexterity is critical (welding for example). Dexterity becomes mandatory when the specific application standard requires it.


How to deal with cleaning is more clearly written. If care instructions are provided, the tests shall be done before cleaning and after cleaning. The results retained are the worst ones.

Marking (glove or packaging)

New pictograms are available in annex C :

EN ISO 21420 :2020 Manufacturing date

Manufacturing date (or any mean ensuring the manufacturing batch traceability)

EN ISO 21420 :2020 Obsolescence date in addition to the manufacturing date

if applicable, Obsolescence date in addition to the manufacturing date

EN ISO 21420 :2020 Protection against static electricity

Protection against static electricity (EN 16350)

EN ISO 21420 :2020 Protection against heat without flame

Protection against heat without flame


Information to supply (User instruction)

To the requirements already known with the old EN 420, the new revision adds:

  • If the materials constituting the gloves are known to lose their performances during recommended storage, information shall be given to ensure that the storage will not change the glove characteristics significantly.
  • If it is known that the design performance of the glove may be significantly affected by ageing, the necessary information to establish a reasonable obsolescence date shall be given.
  • A warning for gloves containing any natural rubber, such as: “the glove contains natural rubber which may cause allergic reactions”.
  • Instructions relevant to donning, doffing, adjusting the gloves, preserving comfort and hygiene of the hand, protection from contamination of the hand, and where relevant information concerning combination with other forms of PPE.
  • Any relevant instruction to check the integrity of the glove before using it (for example check that the glove does not present holes, cracks, tears, colour change…., and discard any glove presenting such defects).
  • If cleaning is claimed, care symbols according to ISO 3758 or explanations and an acceptable number of cleaning cycles, shall be provided. If cleaning is not recommended, it shall be indicated that the glove is not washable. This excludes single-use gloves.
  • Reference to accessories and spare parts, if relevant, for example connection systems between sleeve and glove.
  • If additional pictograms are used on the packaging, they shall be explained in the information supplied by the manufacturer.


If wanted, how to update your certificates to EN ISO 21420 ?

Ask your usual contact at CTC CE marking team. He will provide you a simple and easy form to fulfil.

You will have to answer the following questions:

  • Do you want an update of the current certificate (same expiry date) or a new certificate (extend validity to 5 years) ?
  • Reusable multilayer glove ?
  • Glove ONLY intended for professional use and including plastic, rubber or latex in contact with skin ?
  • Containing any kind of PU ?
  • Containing plastics, rubber or latex ?
  • Gloves intended for firefighters, welders or motorcyclists ?


On the basis of your answers, CTC will provide you the list of the tests that will be necessary.

To include all the changes, we have updated our glove questionnaire. It is available upon request.

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