American Glovebox Society (AGS) is a non-profit formed in 1986 for the purpose of advancing the science of glovebox and containment technology.
The earliest use of gloveboxes was in research dealing with national defense. The necessity of handling hazardous materials with sometimes unknown properties created the need for an enclosure that would separate the experimenter from the process, while still allowing the experiment to be performed. Today, gloveboxes are still used by defense industries, but glovebox (or isolator, enclosure, barrier, mini-environment, etc.) use has expanded to other industries where materials must be protected from the environment or the operators must be protected from the material within the glovebox. The AGS provides a means to expand glovebox technology into new fields, as well as refine use in existing fields, by providing a forum where the experience and knowledge of users, designers and fabricators in industries such as nuclear, biomedical, semiconductor, chemical, and pharmaceutical can be shared.
AGS members are from many professions, with a wide diversity of containment needs. Predominantly we are represented by the nuclear industry, largely the Department of Energy (DOE) facilities. In recent years, the pharmaceutical industry has become interested in containment, and refers to gloveboxes as isolators or barriers. The biological industry also uses gloveboxes, but often refers to them as biological safety cabinets. Another industry that has recently become interested in gloveboxes is the microelectronics industry, as a means to reduce costs of business by migrating away from cleanrooms. Research projects in many industries often require the use of glovebox containment. Glovebox type containment is used to protect the worker and/or environment from the material, protect the material from the environment, or in some cases, both.
One of the Society's significant endeavors has been the creation of a Standards Development Committee (SDC). The SDC was chartered at the Annual Conference in August of 1989, and held their first meeting in Philadelphia, PA in March of 1990. It was not quite as historical of an event or as important as the Constitutional Convention of 1776, but it represented an important step for our Society in reaching our goal of dissemination of information by way of a standards document that would be useful for all industries. The long range goal is to issue a documents that will be recognized as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) American National Standard. In 1994, the AGS became a member of the ANSI, and have a chair on one of the subcommittees. We are well on our way to achieving this goal since the AGS Guideline for Gloveboxes, AGS-G001-1994 ©1994 was issued in August of 1994. In 2007, the Third Edition of the Guideline for Gloveboxes, AGS-G001-2007 ©2007 was issued. This is an update of the document which incorporates additional information that was not included in the original issue and also incorporates comments made by users and reviewers of the document since its original issue. For a full list of AGS Standards and Guidelines visit the publications page.
You may be wondering about our logo, the "scribble" . We might as well explain it because you will ask sooner or later. Even we wonder about it at times. Here is the comical story about the scribble as told by one of our Past Presidents, Norine Harris.