Redruth, Cornwall United Kingdom (PressExposure) April 20, 2011 -- Many medical and healthcare professionals will choose gloves mainly made from latex. The reasons for this are numerous ranging from softness to their elasticity. Although the recent hike in Centrifuged latex prices (governed daily by the Malaysian Rubber Exchange with local price (ISO 2004) in Sen/Kg(Wet)) has put a financial strain on some smaller care homes, nursing and domiciliary agencies in the UK.
Following the last H1N1 pandemic that saw the introduction of the 'Catch it, bin it, kill it' campaign and the stock piling of anti-viral, it can easily be agreed upon that it won't be the last. According to The Independent, Governments should start vaccinating now for the lethal strain H2N2 influenza virus, circulating in birds and pigs. This news is based on an article written by US vaccine researchers, who said that an old flu strain known as H2N2, which caused a pandemic in the 1950s and 60s, could easily start circulating again in humans, as out of 90 people tested those under the age of 50 or less had little or no immunity to the strain. So it's imperative now that all carers, whether in a care or nursing environment or at individuals home, need to adhere to the stringent guidelines of practice to prevent the spread of life threatening diseases that can easily effect the not just elderly, infirm and vulnerable but also anyone who is in a care environment.
Medical and care sector buyers, purchasers and budget controllers within the industry are finding it increasingly difficult to try to find an alternative to latex at a price that is affordable but more importantly up to standard. The reason is that medical gloves must conform to EN455 parts 1, 2 and 3. Not only that they must also be in compliance with Medical Devices Directive 93/42/EEC, so not all alternative materials are best suited for the manufacturing of gloves that have this vital and crucial standard.
Therefore, whichever substitute is found it must have a minimum force at break (initial) 3.6N if synthetic, or 6.3N if Nitrile, which means they can easily take the stresses and strains of use within the medical and care sectors, but they have also been tested to the ASTM method, F1671-97 and offer Class 1 non-sterile CE classification. Needless to say they will have to have AQL (Acceptable Quality Level) 1.5 freedom from holes. This means that they will offer non-penetration of harmful liquids and bloods, helping to guarantee the users safety. The disposability of any alternative gloves, regardless of the material they are made from, also means the spread of disease and infection is largely reduced, thus promising the same standards of care and control that latex offers.