Why New Gloves are Contaminated

New and unused disposable gloves should be clean, you shouldn’t expect anything but! However, large varieties of bacterial contamination of new and unused single-use gloves have been tested for in scientific studies. Results showed gloves were contaminated with pathogens responsible for foodborne illnesses (FBIs), human skin bacteria and pathogenic contaminants.

Petri Dish Germ Lab Microbes BacteriaRecent testing of new, unused gloves, conducted by Eagle Protect together with internationally recognized microbiologist Barry Michaels, has further confirmed the presence of pathogens and microbes responsible for FBIs (including E. coli and Staphylococcus), and those specific to food spoilage and occupational skin disease. These findings are due specifically to:

  1. Poor sanitation of glove factories
  2. Polluted water source used during glove manufacturing processes


The origins of these microbes and pathogens have been traced specifically to:

  • Polluted surface water from agricultural, industrial and urban run-off
  • Wastewater, human feces and animal gut bacteria
  • Factory water filtration units
  • Glove drying cycles
  • Human skin bacteria
  • Paperboard packaging

Glove manufacturing is largely unregulated, and cleanliness and sanitation is not accounted for in FDA compliant glove testing. Gloves with FDA compliance for food handling or approved for medical use are not tested for their bacterial or bioburden load. 

Why is this becoming an issue?

If you have an Organic Certification, or are testing for specific microbes or toxins on your products, the gloves handling your products must be clean, non-toxic and free from harmful pathogens which have the potential to contaminate. 

We are increasingly being asked for proof by our customers with an Organic Certification that our gloves are free from fungicides, pesticides and toxins. Our supplier certification states these should not be present based on original documentation provided, and both our Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and cytotoxicity tests confirm there is no indication for the presence of fungicides or pesticides or toxins. Eagle goes one step further to verify our supplier testing, to absolutely guarantee our product quality and safety.

Read more about our Delta Zero glove testing program and how we verify our gloves to the highest levels of safety and performance, assurance for your products and reputation. 

Shop Eagle Gloves

Customer service associate photo

Industry Insights, Product Information, Pricing, Samples & More.