Disposable Gloves Show Traces of Feces, Bacteria

A study linked the problem to tainted water used in glove production.


Eagle Protect PBC is a Calif.-based supplier of food-safe, single-use disposable gloves and clothing.

The company recently tested 1,681 unused gloves from 25 brands common in the U.S. food and medical industries.

Until now, there has been limited knowledge on glove contamination at production. The results were ... gross.

The study found bacteria specific to foodborne illnesses, food spoilage and skin infections.

According to Eagle, the problem is linked to polluted water sources used for glove production. That’s likely why they also found sewage, including fecal pollution, and human and animal gut bacteria.

Eagle’s CEO says the company has seen factories reusing dirty water and packing gloves in dirty environments, generally in Southeast Asia. Global manufacturing companies chase the lowest cost of production, which can lead to unsanitary and inferior manufacturing standards.

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