Effect of multiple alcohol-based hand rub applications on the tensile properties of thirteen brands of medical exam nitrile and latex gloves
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Current CDC guidance for the disinfection of gloved hands during the doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) following the care of a patient with Ebola recommends for multiple applications of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) on medical exam gloves. To evaluate possible effects of ABHR applications on glove integrity, thirteen brands of nitrile and latex medical exam gloves from five manufacturers and two different ABHRs were included in this study. A pair of gloves were worn by a test operator and the outside surfaces of the gloves were separately treated with an ABHR for 1-6 applications. Tensile strength and ultimate elongation of the gloves without any ABHR treatments (control gloves) and gloves after 1-6 ABHR applications were measured based on the ASTM D412 standard method. In general, tensile strength decreased with each ABHR application. ABHRs had more effect on the tensile strength of the tested nitrile than latex gloves, while ethanol-based ABHR (EBHR) resulted in lesser changes in tensile strength compared to isopropanol-based ABHR (IBHR). The results show that multiple EBHR applications on the latex gloves and some of the nitrile gloves tested should be safe for Ebola PPE doffing based on the CDC guidance. Appropriate hospital staff practice using ABHR treatment and doffing gloves is recommended to become more familiar with changes in glove properties.
Alcohol-based hand rub; Ebola; latex; medical exam gloves; nitrile; tensile strength; ultimate elongation