Gloves for Global Health Concerns
Concern over Avian Influenza has risen with international attention from the news media and the scientific community. Bird Flu is
caused by the H5N1 virus. At the present time, this virus primarily affects birds, although, humans have been infected and have died
from it. Mutation of the virus into a form that can infect humans has caused major concern for almost eight years. Because of the vast
amount of concern over the possibility of a global pandemic, we will attempt to answer questions regarding PPE selection for protection
from exposure to this virus and other health issues.
World Health Organization Recommendations:
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of Personal Protective Equipment by everyone providing patient care
including family members which includes:
• Masks (N-95)
• Gloves and Aprons
• Hair Covers
• Protective Goggles
• Boots or shoe covers
Although, gloves are an integral part of a Personal Protective Equipment ensemble, gloves should not be relied upon as the sole
protection from infectious diseases. You must take into consideration that gloves are just ONE part of a protection ensemble. The full
ensemble of PPE recommended by WHO should also be worn by cullers and animal husbandry/veterinary staff who may work with
infected birds. All of the people who may come into contact with infected animals or humans should keep exposure to the animals or
person at an absolute minimum. The proper PPE must be worn and must be disposed of properly to avoid any contact with contamination.
You should wash your hands as soon as gloves are removed and use a 70% alcohol rub on hands after washing with soap and water.
Question: Will wearing Best® N-DEX® disposable nitrile gloves help provide protection from exposure to Bird Flu?
Answer: Many studies have shown that disposable nitrile gloves hold up much better “in-use” than vinyl gloves which may fracture
and allow viruses to penetrate them. Nitrile has also been shown to be slightly superior to Natural Rubber Latex gloves in similar
studies. These studies were carried out in clinical settings, but the same information would apply anywhere there is potential for
exposure to pathogens.
Nitrile has weak tear strength. Therefore, when a glove is violated, it will tear away immediately, so you do not continue wearing a glove
that has a pinhole in it where viruses could penetrate.
All of Best® N-DEX® medical grade gloves have recently been certified to NFPA 1999 Standard for Emergency Medical Services.
A major portion of this NFPA standard requires that gloves must pass ASTM F1671 “Standard Test Method for Resistance of Materials
Used in Protective Clothing to Penetration by Blood-Borne Pathogens Using Phi-X 174 Bacteriophage Penetration as a Test System.”
The Bacteriophage Phi-X 174 is a model virus that is used not only because it is nonpathogenic, but it is extremely small in size. It is the
smallest known virus (0.027 micrometers in size). Avian Influenza is also a virus which is 0.08 micrometers or about 3 times larger in
size than the Bacteriophage Phi-X 174. So, it makes sense that if the gloves have been certified as providing protection from a virus
particle that is 0.027 micrometers in size, the gloves would also protect from exposure to Avian Influenza. When used properly, gloves
provide excellent protection, but, gloves should not be relied on, solely.
Question: Will wearing Best® N-DEX® disposable nitrile gloves help provide protection from exposure to Prions (Mad Cow Disease)?
Answer: Prions are the proteins that are responsible for Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE). TSE is manifested as Variant
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans and Mad Cow Disease in cattle. The main route of exposure to the Prions is through ingestion of
contaminated beef or beef by-products that contain brain tissue or spinal fluid. Most of the control of this illness is through diligent
examination of cattle herds and monitoring of sick and non-ambulatory cattle. The non-ambulatory cattle must be quarantined during
harvesting of herds. Thorough cooking of meat and sanitization of equipment is also a necessary part of overall food safety. The dermal
route has not been specified as a route of potential exposure for Mad Cow Disease. The dermal route has not been specified as a route of
potential exposure to Prions. However, gloves would provide protection from getting contamination on the hands and are part of an overall
good Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point or HACCP program.
AQL of 1.5: Every lot of N-DEX® and N-DEX® Free gloves are statistically sampled and then leak tested for pin holes. The Acceptable
Quality Limit of 1.5 for defects for each lot of gloves means that very stringent controls are followed in the manufacturing process of
Best N-DEX Examination Gloves to insure that likelihood of pinholes in gloves is kept at a minimum.
Gloves are a vital part of a PPE ensemble for protecting from exposure to viruses and other pathogens. Best N-DEX and N-DEX Free gloves
are highly qualified as Emergency Medical gloves and are recommended as one part of protection ensemble for these agents.
Gloves for Global Health Concerns