Understanding the protection offered by disposable gloves
Gloves, including nitrile, latex and other disposable variants, can play an important role in risk management, no matter the industry. Workers in many disciplines come into contact with daily hazards, whose impact can be minimised or managed by using the additional protection of gloves.
While disposable gloves are recommended in many industries, existing technologies offer limited user protection and do little to prevent cross contamination. In the midst of a global health crisis, users remain at risk.
What protection do disposable gloves offer?
Regular users of disposable gloves can become less aware of contamination, leading to a false sense of security, as well as an increased risk of self and cross contamination.
Studies have shown that viruses, for example, can survive on gloves for up to 4 hours. In professions where the risk of cross contamination is high, such as catering and healthcare, this can pose a significant risk.
Gloves that work as part of PPE in healthcare settings are typically not sterile and offer little protection against viral threats.
While some of this risk is owed to misuse, including incorrect, prolonged or premature application, users also remain at risk and can become contaminated even when the integrity of the glove remains intact.
Largely, though, contamination is owed to the fact that these gloves offer no antiviral or antibacterial protection whatsoever.
In many high-risk scenarios such as surgery, gloves are sterilised before use, however they still offer the same, minimal antiviral and antimicrobial protection, meaning that cross contamination and self contamination both continue to be a possibility once they come into contact with a contaminated surface or body.
The low antiviral properties of typical latex or nitrile disposable gloves means that should you handle something contaminated with coronavirus, or similar viral threats, then go on to touch your face, the gloves would not offer any protection from stopping transmission.
When should disposable gloves be used?
Gloves are recommended globally for healthcare professionals treating infectious diseases, including COVID-19, especially when there is a risk of contact with bodily fluids. These recommendations do come with notable caveats.
In the US, while disposable gloves are recommended, the FDA “has not cleared, approved, or authorized any medical gloves for specific protection against the virus that causes COVID-19 or prevention of COVID-19 infection” - recognising their shortcomings when it comes to virus prevention.
In the UK, the Royal College of Nursing recommends usage of gloves as part of transmission-based precautions, to limit the spread of contact, airborne and droplet bacteria. However, they too point out the opportunities for contamination, owed to the glove’s lack of antiviral protection.
While the use of gloves is considered best practice in many scenarios, their limitations are plain to see when it comes to reducing transmission and protecting the users.
Introducing the world’s first antiviral glove
After recognising the limitations of disposable gloves currently available, CodiKoat have been working tirelessly to develop a glove that utilises our antiviral technology.
CodiTouch is the world’s first antiviral and antimicrobial disposable glove, killing more than 99.9% of viruses and bacteria within seconds of contact - including coronavirus.
Needless to say, the jump from no protection to destroying harmful bacteria and threats within seconds could help save lives and minimise infections around the world.
The potential uses for CodiTouch are limitless, with protection increased for users in all disciplines where gloves are necessary to protect against hazards. For example in catering and hospitality, the use of an antimicrobial disposable glove like CodiTouch can help reduce cross contamination of food bodies or surfaces, protecting the user and the end customer simultaneously.
Perhaps the greatest impact of the introduction of CodiTouch can be in healthcare, where preventable infections have a huge impact on patient welfare and are a significant drain on resources.
Healthcare-associated infections cost the US economy up to $45bn per year, with almost 2 million patients suffering annually as a result. Many of these infections are seen to be preventable, CodiTouch can help reduce the transmission of those preventable infections by killing harmful bacteria and viruses before they contaminate other sources.
As we move past the current global health crisis and begin planning for preventing future viral threats, this cost-effective solution can help save lives and resources.
To find out more about CodiTouch or any of our other antiviral technologies, please contact us here.