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The Many Types Of Exam Gloves

By Saul Goodman

Medical exam gloves are disposable items used during procedures in order to help prevent contamination between caregivers and their patients. Common materials utilized in the construction of these gloves consist of latex, rubber, and vinyl, sometimes coated with powder so that they may be put on the hand a lot more easily.

Medical examination gloves are different than surgical gloves, which need to be a lot more precise in their sizing and are usually produced to a higher standard, given the seriousness of their intended application.

Exam gloves were first invented by William Stewart Halsted in 1890 at Johns Hopkins University. Germ theory had just come out in the medical literature and was becoming more and more accepted, and Mr. Halsted was using carbolic acid to sterilize his and his nurse’s hands. The nurse’s skin was damaged due to her sensitivity to the chemical, so Mr. Halsted had the Goodyear company (yes, of rubber fame) create a glove that could withstand carbolic acid.

It wasn’t until 1964 that latex exam gloves were made available by Ansell, an Australian company that adapted the technique for making condoms to make medical gloves instead. Unfortunately, latex also affected many, and so vinyl designs became more and more popular. However, when it comes to surgery, latex is still the preferred material since its properties afford the best touch-sensitivity around, an important consideration when performing surgery. Also, many latex alternatives are a lot more costly, and hospitals in the United States are under constant pressure to hold down costs.

Powder-free exam gloves might also be found in electronics manufacturing, where the necessity of cleanliness is very similar to that needed by many medical environments. Food service gloves can seem just like those utilized for medical procedures, but are often not cleared for medical use despite having stringent Food and Drug Administration regulations attached to their construction.

Looking to find the best information on Medical exam gloves, then visit to find the best advice on latex exam gloves for you.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Goodman, Saul "The Many Types Of Exam Gloves." The Many Types Of Exam Gloves. 26 Jun. 2010. 25 Dec 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Goodman, S (2010, June 26). The Many Types Of Exam Gloves. Retrieved December 25, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Goodman, Saul "The Many Types Of Exam Gloves"

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