Powdered latex gloves with high residual extractable protein content produced using the older manufacturing processes are known to have caused sensitization among sensitive individuals.
Using today’s improved processing technologies, the high protein content of gloves can now be drastically reduced to a very low level, particularly in the powder-free variety. Hospital studies done between 1998 to 2006 in the U.S, Canada and Europe have shown that:
The use of low-protein latex gloves reduces vastly the incidence of sensitization and allergic reactions.
Latex allergic individuals warning non-latex gloves can now work alongside their co-workers donning the low-protein gloves with no heightened allergy concern.
To help users identify quality low-protein latex examination gloves. Malaysia has introduced the Standard Malaysian Glove (SMG) certiﬁed gloves.
All SMG certiﬁed gloves meet stringent technical requirements and have controlled low protein levels.
ECRI, a non-proﬁt research institute dedicated to unbiased, evidence-based healthcare research and information for the healthcare industry, recommends the use of SMG certiﬁed latex gloves, particularly the powder-free variety. (Health Devices, 2004, Vol33 (5) (169-174).
While low protein latex gloves are generally preferred and used by healthcare worker, it is recommended that latex sensitive or allergic individuals should wear non-latex gloves such as nitrile gloves that can provide them with adequate barrier protection.
“The fact is that natural rubber latex remains the gold standard for hand barrier protection due to its strength, elasticity, and relatively low cost. With the availability of low-protein gloves, many clinicians are ﬁnding that natural rubber latex gloves are the best overall choice.” - Plastic Surgical Nursing, "Making Sense of Glove Selection," December 22, 2003