A study of latex and vinyl gloves: Performance versus allergy protection properties

V. Gnaneswaran, B. Mudhunuri, R. R. Bishu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Powdered latex or vinyl gloves are often used in health care industry as a better protector against latex-induced dermatitis. The purpose of this research was to evaluate these gloves both with respect to the performance and protection against latex-induced dermatitis. Twenty-five male students from the College of Engineering & Technology and 25 female students from the College of Dentistry at the University of Nebraska participated in the experiment. Two types of gloves (latex and vinyl) were factorially combined with powdered and non-powdered conditions. A number of performance measures were gathered. These included strength, dexterity, tactility, and functional tests. The data of glove properties was collected from a glove manufacturer. Results suggest use of powdered latex gloves for non-affected population, and use of non-powdered vinyl gloves for sensitized population. Objectives with respect to protection against latex-induced allergens could not be achieved due to operational difficulties. Not withstanding these, the performance results have been combined with available literature from the medical field, and recommendations made. Relevance to industry: Risks due to blood borne pathogens and other risks have made use of latex and vinyl gloves mandatory for health care professionals. Research on performance compromises on these is sparse. This study attempts to look at performance compromises with gloves and also its protection against dermatitis, both relevant issues to the industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-181
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergy protection
  • Latex gloves
  • Performance
  • Vinyl gloves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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