June 1980

Surface Powders on Surgical Gloves

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Product Development, Hospital Products Division, Warner-Lambert Company, Greenwood, SC (Dr Tolbert); and the Analytical Services Branch, Engineering Experiment Station, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta (Mr Brown).

Arch Surg. 1980;115(6):729-732. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380060031008

• Four different instrumental techniques were used to analyze the microscopic particles on the patient-contact surfaces of a variety of surgical gloves. The presence of talc was confirmed on most, but not all, gloves tested. The presence of talc, when it occurred, seemed to be due to design by the manufacturer rather than by accident, and it was predominantly on the patient-contact surfaces. The intentional inclusion of talc on modern surgical gloves has been unexpected up to now. A washing and wiping procedure showed that talc was more difficult to remove than starch-based powder. A powder-stripping procedure showed that powder that resisted removal by washing could be mechanically dislodged. Thus, a shedding hazard might exist during a surgical procedure even if the glove surfaces have been washed and wiped.

(Arch Surg 115:729-732, 1980)