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Latex Medical Gloves: Time for a Reappraisal

8 de dezembro de 2021 09:05   Móveis e Eletrodomésticos   Tete   34 vistas

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Glove Source Materials

Many plants produce liquid latex, but the natural material, NRL, used in rubber manufacture is almost exclusively obtained from the Hevea brasiliensis tree. It contains the rubber polymer, cis-poly-isoprene, as well as varying amounts of a large number of different proteins [20,21,22]. Various chemicals, such as accelerators, activators, anti-oxidants and vulcanizing agents, are used in the manufacture of medical gloves [[23]; for review, see [24]] but a large proportion of these chemicals are then leached out in the further stages of production, through processes such as ‘wet-gel leaching’. These leaching processes also remove the majority of the water-soluble proteins found in NRL [24].


The raw materials for synthetic glove manufacture include vinyl (polyvinyl chloride), nitrile (acetonitrile butadiene), neoprene, polyisoprene, polychloroprene, polyurethane and polyethylene, which are generally derived from oil chemistry. Nitrile is very similar in its polymer chemical structure to NRL and, in this respect, may be considered as synthetic latex.


Deproteinised latex, being composed of enzyme-treated NRL, has also been used as the source material for nitrile gloves. We are not aware of published reports in which gloves made of deproteinised NRL have been compared with conventional NRL gloves, especially with respect to their allergenic properties, although there are reports that NRL-allergic patients can tolerate condoms made from this material [26].


Recently, liquid latex from a North American and Mexican desert shrub, Parthenium argentatum, commonly known as Guayule, has been introduced as source material for gloves [27]. The obvious advantage of Guayule is that it is not botanically related to H. brasiliensis and, for the time being, no reports about type I allergies to these gloves have been reported.