Glove Risk Amplification via Direct Physical, Chemical & Microbial Contamination
In a groundbreaking article submitted to the Journal of Food Protection* (under peer review), numerous evidence-based studies and real life examples of glove contamination issues affecting food and healthcare industries, consumers and patients, as well as glove wearers are reported. It is widely assumed when gloves meet FDA compliance standards they are safe for use and free from chemical and microbial contamination, however current glove manufacturing standards and testing requirements appear inadequate, and allow for potential contamination and public health issues.
This submitted article summary highlights scientific reports of toxicity, illness, and deaths related to glove contamination; how these occur in food and medical supply chains, and why informed glove procurement decisions are necessary to avoid future contamination issues.
Glove contamination is proven responsible for illness and death in hospital settings. Gloves contaminated with pathogens, fungi and fecal indicators from polluted manufacturing water sources and lax quality procedures are of particular concern to food, cannabis and healthcare industries. Bioburden standards for both medical and food gloves are recommended.
Glove ripping is a direct result of low-cost raw material formulations and high filler content—in short: cheap ingredients cause gloves to rip. Cheap and heavier weight gloves can be less durable, and cause overheating with greater sweat build-up. Have you ever truly considered what happens when a rip occurs? It’s not just glove pieces that can contaminate food and halt manufacturing, or at worst, cause recalls—of more importance is hand sweat and microbial contamination leaking onto food.
Glove Chemicals—Vinyl Gloves
While all gloves can contain toxic chemicals responsible for recalls and illness, vinyl glove toxins are the most serious and the most widely reported. Vinyl glove chemicals and toxins such as phthalates, BPA and PFAS are responsible for contaminating food and consumers, as well as vinyl glove wearers, and can cause cancer, chronic hormonal disruption and fertility impairment.
Glove Chemicals—Glove Wearer
Glove chemicals can cause skin issues for the glove wearer. Additives to raw materials are responsible for skin disease including chronic dermatitis, with sweat causing chemicals to migrate to the skin. The cost to individuals and businesses can be significant.
In conclusion, glove manufacturing is a loosely regulated industry. Together with inadequate regulations, inspections and testing standards in food (and medical) gloves, potentially dangerous glove contamination can occur.
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