Many people wondered, is wearing rubber gloves while out in public effective in preventing the new coronavirus infection?
According to World Health Organization (WHO), washing your hands regularly provides better protection against picking up COVID-19 in comparison to wearing rubber gloves. The reason being, if COVID-19 contamination happens when your rubber gloves got in contact with the contaminated surface, you can easily transfer the virus to your body when you touch your face with your gloves on.
For the general public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends wearing gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone sick. It is not necessary in most situations, including when running errands.
The trend of gloves-wearing was adopted by the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of their personal health measures. The global demand for medical gloves during the pandemic is staggering and unprecedented, sending the industry growth surging to an all time’s high.
Industrial gloves are better than medical gloves?
Despite it all, there was a myth circulating in the community: industrial gloves are better than medical gloves. The general misconception is that industrial gloves are designed to withstand abrasive chemicals, the demanding wear and tear of car mechanics and factory works, therefore offer better protection. While it may sound true to a certain extent, industrial gloves are designed and best-suited for industrial works.
The use of medical gloves is one of the strategies deployed for infection-control. It is an example of personal protective equipment (PPE) used to protect the wearer and/or the patient from cross-infections or illnesses during medical procedures and examinations.
Industrial vs Medical Gloves
Broadly speaking, the only difference between industrial and medical gloves is the certification by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA established safety guidelines and requirements that the gloves must meet in terms of quality and durability before they can be approved for use in hospitals and medical practices.
The gloves are stringently vetted with a series of technical tests for their biocompatibility, chemical resistance, puncture resistance, elasticity, tension durability, and elongation before they can be endorsed as safe for medical examination or surgery.
In addition, the gloves are subjected to the acceptable quality limits (AQL) set by the FDA. An AQL limit sets a standard for how many gloves within a batch can fail testing. A low AQL means a small number of defective gloves. For exam-grade gloves is necessary to ensure the glove is of a high enough quality that it can provide the proper barrier protection against extreme risks.
For example, exam-grade gloves must have an AQL of 2.5 or lower. This means that in a batch of exam-grade gloves, only 1.5% of the batch can fail the test (2.5 gloves out of a batch of 100.) If the batch of gloves fail to meet the AQL requirements, even by a small margin, they will be labeled for industrial use only.
Despite not being approved for use in hospitals, these gloves provide sufficient protection because they still have to meet certain levels of chemical penetration and resistance tests as stipulated earlier.
Without receiving an AQL score, disposable gloves are not suited for medical purposes.
Without a low AQL score, disposable gloves will not be approved for medical purposes
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