Disposable Gloves in the Food Industry


When it comes to disposable glove usage in the food processing and food service industries, the phrase “less is more” finds a home.

These industries have the highest glove usage of all sectors – 20 pairs per worker each day on average. However, employees use some of the most affordable glove materials: polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride. Because these gloves are inexpensive, they’re perfect for the two food industries, where workers change gloves often.

Consider the combined 2012 disposable glove revenue for these industries, which was $3.3 billion and the second-highest among all industries. With an affordable price point, imagine how many pairs of gloves that figure represents. Customers can purchase a lot of gloves to get the protection they need at a low price. In the end, poly and vinyl gloves offer the value and ease food service workers need.  Become an AMMEX distributor today to learn more about gloves suitable for the food industry.

“Take a look at this handy infographic to determine the right glove for the right job in the food industry.”

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Disposable Glove Usage: Industrial Safety and Chemical


Did you know the industrial, safety and chemical industries had the highest disposable glove revenue, on par with the medical and dental industry in 2012? Not only was this sector the top contender for industrial markets that year, analysts project it will continue to have the second highest overall revenue by 2022.

While industrial safety is a broad area, one need remains key: chemical protection. This is why nitrile gloves account for 65 percent of the glove material distribution in this industry.

Considering the American Burn Association said 3 percent of hospital admissions for burns from 2003 to 2012 were for chemical burns, and 9 percent of all burns were occupational, workers in the industrial and safety industry are vital potential customers for nitrile and other glove materials that offer chemical resistance.

 

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Advantages of Powder Free Gloves


With production efficiencies and personal preferences, the trend toward powder free gloves is on the rise.

Why use powder free gloves?
Powder free gloves have a majority market share. This is because they are best for a number of applications.

Powder free gloves are preferred for the automotive industry, for example. When powdered gloves are donned, cornstarch powder particles are released into the air and introduce a potential source of contamination. For example, when automotive technicians are installing windshields, the powder weakens the seal of the glass, which may lead to leaks. In the case of painting, finishing, and sealing applications, these particles lead to fisheyes in the finish, making powder free gloves the better choice for these applications.

Another benefit of powder free gloves is they are less messy than powdered gloves. Powder leaves residue on both hands and clothing.

“Powder free gloves are great for painting.”

How are powder free gloves made?
Historically, manufacturers have used powder when creating powder free gloves. They powdered the glove formers to make the gloves easier to remove. After removing the gloves from the formers, manufacturers rinse the gloves, turn the gloves right side out and rinse the gloves again. As powder free gloves have become more popular, manufacturers have developed innovative ways to create the gloves without powdering the formers.

One way to remove residual powder from gloves is by chlorination. Chlorination is achieved using chlorine gas or a solution of hypochlorite and hydrochloric acid. This process reduces the surface tackiness of the natural rubber latex, making the gloves easier to don because they slide over hands without sticking to the skin. Furthermore, chlorination removes residual powder and lowers latex proteins in the glove. Thus, this process is more common for latex gloves.

Another way to make powder free gloves easier to don involves using a polymer coating. Manufacturers use various types of polymers, including silicones, acrylics and hydrogels. This coating is applied to the gloves’ interior while the gloves are on the former. Because the polymer has less surface friction than the glove material, it facilitates easier donning. Polymer coating is most common with nitrile gloves.

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Getting Ready for New Prop 65 Requirements


Starting Dec. 20, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), which is part of the California Environmental Protection Agency, will roll out a new labeling requirement for products containing Diisononyl phthalate (DINP). Retailers and distributors in the state of California that sell items that contain this chemical must understand their obligations. This requirement is relevant for disposable glove distributors and retailers because some manufacturers use DINP in products made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), including disposable vinyl gloves.

What the new labeling rule requires
The requirement for DINP labeling stems from the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, which is commonly known as Proposition 65. Per the law, distributors and retailers must have clear and understandable labeling that tells consumers DINP is present in a product.

This requirement does not say that products cannot contain the chemical. However, consumers must be informed if they are being exposed to unsafe levels of DINP. From Dec. 20 forward, any products that are not properly labeled will be considered in violation of the law. Not only can retailers and distributors face penalties from the government, but they can also be targets of lawsuits once it is revealed they sold improperly labeled products.

There is a specific standard label for DINP products:

  • WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.

Prop 65 is meant to inform California consumers of harmful chemicals in products they use.  According to the regulations, any products containing more than a trace amount of DINP must have a warning label.

In-depth look at Prop 65
According to the OEHHA, lawmakers created Prop 65 because voters wanted to be more aware of what chemicals are in the products they commonly use, particularly chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive issues and birth defects. Additionally, the legislation requires that California residents are informed about the presence of chemicals in products and chemicals that are released into the environment via manufacturing processes and products.

To keep consumers aware of harmful chemicals, the state publishes a list. Currently, this list exceeds 800 items. These chemicals are found in a number of places, from common household items such as vinyl flooring and garden hoses to solvents and byproducts such as unleaded gasoline fumes.

DINP, like all the other chemicals added to the list, met certain criteria for the Prop 65 program. One of these criteria is that an authoritative body, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, has found a correlation that a particular chemical causes any of the aforementioned issues. Also, chemicals are added if two independent groups of health care professionals or scientists corroborate these findings, the state or federal government requires labeling or they meet criteria of the California labor code.

What is DINP and its risks?
DINP is a phthalate plasticizer, meaning it softens plastics, and appears in many PVC products. Following oral exposure, the chemical is quickly absorbed into the body.

“DINP is a phthalate plasticizer that appears in many PVC products.”

How industries have responded
Labeling regulations under Prop 65 are meant to protect California residents, and chemicals on the list have stated risks, Bloomberg BNA reported. Many critics say the lack evidence with regard to DINP’s carcinogenic effects on humans is reason to reverse the decision to list the chemical. They said many products have contained DINP for years without any noticeable side effects in users.

While this may be true, retailers and distributors must ensure they are not liable for penalties and damages. Distributors could be liable if workers in these industries wear vinyl gloves sold in California that do not have the appropriate labels and contain more than a trace amount.

Despite what critics assert, distributors and retailers must adhere to proper labeling regulations under Prop 65 for products sold or shipped through the state of California. With vinyl gloves specifically, glove suppliers who are selling DINP compliant gloves are not required to label their PVC products with Prop 65 warnings.

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Know Your Glove Materials: Part III Vinyl


The second generation of disposable gloves, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or vinyl, followed latex gloves.

As a result of the growing awareness of HIV in the 1980s, the health care industry needed a disposable glove to create a barrier between medical professionals and bloodborne pathogens. This gave rise to latex gloves but due to a number of people developing latex allergies, vinyl gloves were developed as an alternative. Now, the wholesale vinyl gloves are an industry changer.

Vinyl gloves are popular in the janitorial/sanitation, food processing, professional salon and food service industries.

What is vinyl?
Individuals may be more accustomed to seeing this synthetic glove material in another form – PVC piping – but it has had many uses.

Scientists accidentally discovered vinyl through various experiments carried out during the 19th century. German inventor Friedrich Heinrich August Klatte first patented the material in 1913, when he found a way to use sunlight to polymerize vinyl chloride. Since that time, researchers determined which additives to include in the material to make it more flexible. Besides disposable gloves, vinyl is used to make bottles, toys, credit cards, gutters and a long list of other products.

“Vinyl gloves are used in the food processing and food service industries, among other industries.”

What are the benefits of vinyl gloves?
Vinyl gloves are optimal for tasks that have a short duration, which is why they are more popular in certain industries. In food processing, for instance, employees must change their gloves each time they change tasks. As such, they do not need a glove that has superior durability. Vinyl gloves are more cost effective than latex or nitrile while offering the appropriate tear and puncture resistance for industries where they are used.

Furthermore, vinyl offers chemical resistance, which is why these gloves are popular in the janitorial/sanitation sector. Gloves must be changed often in this industry as well, and employees need barriers against bloodborne pathogens and the cleaners and solvents they use. For example, vinyl gloves can guard against hydrofluoric acid, nitrilotriacetate and phosphoric acid, all of which can be found in cleaning products.

One exciting innovation is antimicrobial vinyl gloves, which prevent the growth of microorganisms by disrupting cell walls so the microorganisms cannot grow on the glove. This feature is built into the glove material rather than sprayed on so that users cannot rub or wash away the additional protection. This is a key benefit in food processing industry, where there are dangers of contamination as a result of poor hygiene and foodborne diseases.

Wholesale vinyl gloves can be purchased in powdered and powder-free as well as industrial-and exam-grade options. There are also blue vinyl gloves, which can serve two purposes. The color acts a way to avoid cross contamination when food processing and food service employees are switching between tasks and makes the glove easier to spot in the event of a glove loss.

AMMEXKnow Your Glove Materials: Part III Vinyl
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Unexpected Uses for Disposable Gloves: Fishing


Who would have thought that disposable gloves could be an excellent holiday gift! According to The Vancouver Columbian, nitrile gloves are a perfect holiday gift for individuals who enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing.

Many anglers like to wear gloves when they are on the water, and the holiday season is the perfect time to promote nitrile gloves. In Vancouver’s lower Columbia area, for example, fishers typically use the gloves during the spring chinook salmon season, according to the source.

One key selling point for glove usage while fishing is gloves are useful when releasing fish, Field & Stream reported. Anglers need to grasp the fish without harming it’s vital organs by holding too tightly. A textured nitrile glove provides the necessary grip.

Additionally, the Vancouver Columbian noted these gloves are useful for sardine wrapping a lure. Because there is a barrier between wearers and the sardines, the scent of the wearers’ hands will not get on the bait. Plus, because these gloves offer top-notch dexterity, they are suitable for the minute tasks that come with fishing, such as stringing a lure or cleaning fish.

With these advantages in mind, it is a great idea to purchase nitrile gloves along with their other fishing-related gifts. Not to mention, they are great to have on have on hand for boat motor repairs and cleanup.

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All About Powdered Gloves


If disposable glove wearers need a product that is easier to slip on their hands, powdered products are the solution. There are powdered latex, nitrile and vinyl gloves available.

The history of powdered gloves
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, researchers began searching for a way to facilitate easier glove donning in surgical applications in the late 1800s. Early methods included wetting the glove material and using various powders, such as talcum powder and a powder made from Lycopodium spores, which are ground pines or club moss. However, both of these powders led to postoperative complications.

Food-grade cornstarch began appearing in gloves by 1947, and by the 1970s, it grabbed the largest market share. Compared to the previous two powders, cornstarch has necessary absorptive properties and does not lead to irritation. Although this powder is currently the most commonly used, gloves are also powdered with calcium or lactose, according to Infection Control Today.

These dusting powders are applied to the gloves near the end of the manufacturing process. After the glove forms are dipped in the glove materials and excess proteins and other residues are removed through the leaching process, the gloves are powdered before they are stripped from their forms. The FDA noted the cornstarch powder mixture is 2 percent magnesium oxide. This keeps the powder from turning into a paste or otherwise thickening.

What are the benefits of powdered gloves?
In the past, natural rubber latex was the main material used for disposable gloves. Latex is a flexible material that closely conforms to the hand, a feature that makes donning difficult for some wearers. This point became more pronounced when glove usage increased as a result of growing awareness of HIV in the 1980s.

To provide more ease in donning gloves, the food-grade cornstarch powder absorbs moisture on hands. This is a key benefit for individuals whose palms are prone to sweating. Additionally, the powder absorbs excess moisture that is present after wearers wash their hands, a step that should be undertaken before gloves are donned.

Powdered gloves are not suitable for all applications, as the cornstarch powder interferes with certain biological and chemical processes, such as chemical sealing and wound closure, respectively. Additionally, the powder damages paints, varnishes and lacquers, and if even a speck of powder lands on a freshly painted surface, it may cause a fish eye. However, outside of these applications, powdered gloves are found in many industries.

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EMS Workers Must Follow Proper Glove Procedures


Emergency medical services (EMS) workers go through a lot of training regarding safety when donning and doffing barrier clothing such as disposable gloves, according to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.

However, these workers must remember to change their exam grade gloves at appropriate times during a call so they do not contaminate clean surfaces. This is true even if the patient does not have any visible lesions or is not vomiting. Per best practices, EMS workers should don gloves prior to touching a patient and remove them after a procedure or assessment is finished before touching a clean surface.

If workers must come into contact with patients after removing their gloves, they should immediately don a new pair. This indicates that workers should have ample supplies of disposable gloves on hand for the multiple changes.

Additionally, EMS workers need the appropriate gloves for the call. EMS workers frequently choose heavy duty exam grade gloves for the extra protection offered by the additional thickness and extended cuff. Additionally, if they are responding to a call involving dangerous chemicals, such as an on-the-job injury at a manufacturing plant, they must have a glove material that is resistant to the chemical involved in the accident, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

For more information, follow this link.

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Know Your Glove Materials: Part IV Poly


Polyethylene is the most affordable glove material and is used in the food service industry. Food service workers need a glove with enough durability for short-duration tasks, and poly gloves are the right choice.

What is polyethylene?
Like polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene was first created by accident. German chemist Hans von Pechmann made the first polyethylene in 1898. In 1933, Reginald Gibson and Eric Fawcett, two scientists at Imperial Chemical Industries, also accidentally created polyethylene, and their employer would be the driving force behind the material’s innovation in early years.

Polyethylene is a polymer that is synthesized from ethylene and a thermoplastic that is formed into various shapes as it cools from a liquid state to a solid state.

There are different forms of polyethylene, with one being high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is the harder form of the plastic. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is thinner, less opaque than HDPE and used to make plastic grocery bags, dispensing bottles and disposable gloves. It is a flexible and tough material though not as durable as other glove materials.

LDPE is a non-leaching plastic in its natural state. This means it will not release unwanted chemicals into food, which is why poly gloves are suitable for the food service industry. Additionally, LDPE is used for creating protective film for food packaging.

Two polyethylene sheets are seamed and sealed with heat to create disposable gloves. Because poly gloves are not dipped like latex, nitrile and vinyl gloves, they are not impervious to liquids. Vinyl gloves are a suitable alternative for food services tasks where liquids are present.

“Poly gloves are made from low-density polyethylene.”

What are the benefits of poly gloves?
The food service industry requires workers to change their gloves often. In a sandwich deli, for instance, an employee would make one customer’s order. Afterward, he or she should follow proper handwashing guidelines and don a new pair of gloves for the next customer. Given the frequency of these changes, the industry requires a cost-effective glove material, which is why poly gloves are the preferred choice.

Poly gloves are also powder and latex free. Both traits are beneficial for preventing allergic reactions among workers and customers. Given that the gloves directly touch food that is ingested, the latex and corn proteins that cause the reaction could easily enter a customer’s body, possibly leading to a more severe reaction. Poly gloves are a safe alternative.

AMMEXKnow Your Glove Materials: Part IV Poly
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The Right Gloves for the Job: Part V Agricultural


In the agricultural industry, workers are involved in a number of tasks where gloves serve as a protective barrier. These duties include working with livestock, handling chemicals such a herbicides and disinfectants and dealing with contaminated soil.

With regard to herbicides and insecticides, there are hundreds of varieties that are used in agriculture, each with chemicals that can be harmful to humans. Furthermore, it is important that personal protective equipment is used to reduce or eliminate exposure to these chemicals.

In the dairy farming sector, glove use has become more common in recent years. Gloves help prevent the spread of bacteria, which is key for dairy farming, as a sick animal is unproductive until it can be brought back to health.

There are various zoonotic diseases, which are those transmitted from animals to humans. One example is brucellosis, a disease that is caused by a bacteria known as brucella and primarily affects animals. However, humans can contract brucellosis if they come in contact with infected animals or animal products. Additionally, livestock handlers need to ensure they are not passing diseases from infected animals to healthy animals.

Workers also need protection when repairing and maintaining their fleet equipment. Whether tractors or combine harvesters, the machines contain chemicals that can cause health issues if they get onto a worker’s hands and absorb through the skin.

“With these risks, agricultural employees need a glove that can stand up to harsh chemicals and bacteria. Nitrile gloves protect agricultural workers from harmful chemicals in pesticides.”

Nitrile and latex gloves for chemicals and pesticides
Agriculture is currently trending toward lighter weight nitrile gloves which offer durability and chemical and pesticide resistance at a competitive price.Nitrile, a synthetic rubber, provides the best overall chemical resistance. Agricultural workers who spend their days spraying pesticides on crops have the risk that they could get the chemicals on their hands which could be absorbed through the skin. Nitrile gloves provide protection that will not easily break down when it comes into contact with harsh chemicals. This protection is also beneficial for guarding against the many fluids that workers can come into contact with while they are performing maintenance on vehicles.

Latex gloves are the second most-common glove in agriculture. These gloves are also donned when workers are dealing with pesticide residues. When handling plants and plant products, workers use latex gloves to protect themselves even if there are not visible signs of pesticides.  While latex previously was the most-used glove type in agriculture, nitrile gloves have become more popular.

Vinyl gloves for tending livestock
When it comes to tending livestock, vinyl gloves are a more suitable option compared to other glove materials, particularly for tasks that require several glove changes in a short time. Vinyl is an inexpensive material that is perfect for short-duration tasks as workers move from animal to animal to prevent cross contamination. Vinyl gloves are common in breeding applications.

Regardless of the application, it is important to remember gloves are not solely for safeguarding workers and livestock. They also protect government and private inspectors. These parties should also don the appropriate gloves to guard themselves and livestock they inspect and ensure the integrity of agricultural facilities.

AMMEXThe Right Gloves for the Job: Part V Agricultural
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