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Evaluation of health care worker glove protection during surgery and the effects of storage, chemicals, and disinfectants on glove integrity.

NIOSH 2000 Dec; :1-106
Since the onset of AIDS and the introduction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) "universal precautions" recommendations, use of gloves by a variety of medical service providers increased dramatically. In one year (1987 - 1988), import of examination gloves increased more than five-fold. Large cycles in glove availability, latex availability, and prices ensued and caused instability in the industry. The influx of products from developing-world firms with little or no local regulatory oversight, as well as the hasty development of new dipping plants around the world, presented a threat to quality. New regulations introduced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US FDA), including the 1,000 mL water test, were intended to provide a significant level of protection against defective gloves reaching the market. The unknown impact of new regulations the continued diversity of sources, and the critical role of the product across all sectors dealing with health care justified a further assessment of the quality of medical gloves. To be fit for use, medical gloves must remain impermeable to pathogens and retain most of their original mechanical properties. They must remain in good condition until ready for use. Therefore, it is important to understand the response of gloves to various conditions of shipping and storage. Furthermore, if the glove type is inappropriately affected by materials in the work environment, it is vital to discover these interactions. This information is required to make meaningful recommendations and rational labeling regulations about these matters. Based upon the samples used for this study, compliance with prevailing quality standards is below expectations for some synthetic glove products. Since up to one third of the sample of these products also allowed viral penetration, a higher level of regulatory oversight may be indicated. In general, the temperature stability characteristics and ability to withstand common exposures in the surgical environment is adequate for all the gloves tested in this study. Due to the inherent material characteristics of vinyl and nitrile (and possibly the other materials), it was determined that a constant-displacement flex-fatigue apparatus is not optimal to accurately assess the durability of those materials.
Health-care; Health-care-personnel; Gloves; Disinfectants; Medical-care; Medical-personnel; Nitriles; Protective-equipment; Protective-clothing; Personal-protective-equipment
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health, 4 Nickerson Street, Seattle, Washington 98109
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Cooperative Agreement Report
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Infectious Diseases
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health, Seattle, Washington