Across various industries, disposable gloves are a vital component of product, consumer and patient safety, and are also worn to protect the wearer from cross-contamination. It’s assumed these new disposable gloves will be intact (not ripped), and free from contamination. However, glove contamination hazards can be created when manufacturers attempt to cut costs, which can cause microbial and chemical contamination of gloves, and reduce their physical durability.
This blog post and video, highlights the critical control points (CCPs) in disposable glove manufacturing.
Water Source Quality: Glove manufacturing uses an abundance of hot water and clean water sources are not always available. Water can be contaminated from agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, industrial wastewater, and animal and human sewage. To further reduce costs, factories may not heat water sufficiently to clean tanks or kill microbes, and can reuse dirty, contaminated water.
Former Cleaning & Drying: Formers, the ceramic, hand-shaped molds used in glove manufacturing, undergo cleaning processes involving hot water and bleach. If the water temperature or chlorine concentration is insufficient, or if the wash water and brushes are not cleaned effectively, microbial contamination may occur.
Coagulant Dipping & Vulcanization: The chemical quality and purity of the polymer can vary significantly. Manufacturers looking to reduce costs may incorporate cheap and toxic ingredients or fillers, compromising the durability, performance and safety of the gloves. These subpar materials can also introduce skin irritants to the glove wearer, leading to potential allergic reactions or other adverse effects.
Leaching Tanks: Gloves undergo a leaching process to remove unwanted chemical residue. However, this is an expensive step that requires high water temperatures to effectively kill any present microbes. Factories may reduce the number of washes or neglect proper cleaning of the leaching tanks, allowing for the persistence of microbes and chemical residues, which can compromise the quality and safety of the gloves.
Glove Drying & Stripping: Insufficient heating or reduced drying times in the pre-stripping ovens can leave moisture on the gloves. If packaged in a moist condition, pathogenic mold can form, leading to potential contamination issues.
Packaging & Hygiene: Packaging gloves in unhygienic or unsanitary conditions can introduce human skin contaminants and fecal matter into the gloves. Open air packing rooms with high humidity levels can expose the gloves to airborne bacteria, insect contamination, and increased moisture levels, which can cause fungus formation.
By understanding these critical control points of glove manufacturing, well-informed purchasing decisions can be made. Focusing on glove cost alone can be a risk to glove wearers, businesses, and consumers.
The Eagle Standard
At Eagle Protect, our gloves are produced using the highest quality manufacturing standards and robust quality control procedures. Our Eagle Standard is unique to the PPE industry. This standard ensures our products meet consistent high-quality specifications and are manufactured sustainably and ethically via our fully transparent supply chain.
Contact us today to learn more about our gloves and clothing, which provide the ultimate safeguard for your business, protecting against unnecessary risks of contamination.