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Electrical conductivity as a test for the integrity of latex gloves.

Stampfer JF; Kissane RJ; Martin LS
J Clin Eng 1994 Nov; 19(6):476-489
The possibility that electrical conductivity could be used as a valid test for the integrity of sterile latex gloves was investigated. The possibility that such a test would be useful when gloves were being worn was also studied. Nothing was found that would theoretically exclude electrical conductivity being used as a testing procedure. However, several practical problems did emerge. The electrical, ionic, penetration of latex gloves was measured by filling them with sodium-chloride (NaCl) solution and suspending them from a Teflon ring in a beaker of NaCl solution. The current passing between electrodes placed inside and outside the glove was measured. Bacteriophage penetration through intentionally induced holes was compared with electrical conductivity; little correlation was found between current and the number of bacteriophage penetrating a glove. Intact gloves passed some current, and there was a temporal increase in current through intact gloves while they were either in contact with the NaCl solution or begin worn. The effect of mechanical stretching on hole size was studied The authors suggest that this method may have a more practical role in determining the integrity of latex gloves in a quality control procedure than for gloves being worn. This method might be used for conductivity testing of flat, stock material by drawing the material continuously through an apparatus with large electrodes placed on each side of the material.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Protective-clothing; Hand-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Organic-solvents; Materials-testing; Infection-control; Electrical-conductivity
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Journal Article
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Journal of Clinical Engineering
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division