Contaminated single-use gloves were responsible for the recent recall of products from a pesticide free cannabis producer and processor. The antimicrobial chemical o-Phenylphenol, listed by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHAA) as a compound known to cause cancer, was identified as the contaminant in the FDA compliant food grade gloves.
After initial approval, non-sterile FDA compliant food grade gloves are not subject to ongoing controls to ensure the reliability and consistency of raw material ingredients or quality processes during manufacturing. Opportunity exists for glove manufacturers to use cheap raw materials which lower glove durability and can introduce toxic compounds which can transfer to glove users and products handled.
The company affected by the glove contamination, Freya Farm, grows high-grade and unique strains of cannabis. They have since started purchasing gloves from Eagle Protect, who are implementing a proprietary third-party glove analysis to ensure a range of Eagle gloves are of consistent high-quality, and free from harmful contaminants, toxins and pathogens.
In a statement, Freya Farm said, "Nothing ruins your day like testing your product, confident it will be clean, only to find it contaminated with some crazy, toxic chemical. The gloves were the last thing we tested, we just never imagined something sold as food safe could transfer such nastiness. The discovery was just the beginning... recalls are costly in more ways than one."
Harmful toxins and contaminants in gloves have been identified in many peer reviewed scientific studies, which is now a real issue for companies producing consumer products, especially in industries such as organics and cannabis whose products must be clean when tested.
Single-use gloves, even those FDA compliant, can be a risk to product recalls and brand reputation. In addition, consumers of contaminated products, and staff wearing contaminated gloves are at risk of absorbing toxins, which have often been identified as causing cancer, and reproductive and hormonal damage.
Responsible sourcing is vital as poor quality, counterfeit and even reused gloves are being traded, as the Covid-related demand for single-use gloves exceeds supply.