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Rubber Accelerators in Medical Examination and Surgical Gloves

Goodier, Molly, C., BS*†‡; Ronkainen, Sanna, D., MD§; Hylwa, Sara, A., MD

doi: 10.1097/DER.0000000000000342

Background Rubber accelerators play a significant role in glove-related occupational contact dermatitis, especially among health care workers. Currently, there is limited information readily available outlining the accelerators used in specific medical examination and surgical gloves.

Objective The aim of this study was to ascertain the accelerators used in medical examination and surgical gloves for major glove manufacturers within the United States.

Methods An initial Internet-based search was performed to establish relevant manufacturers and product lines, with subsequent inquiry with each corresponding company regarding accelerators used in each medical and surgical glove line.

Results Eleven glove manufacturers were identified and contacted. Responses were obtained from all manufacturers, but because of legal limitations, changes in product lines, or inability to supply necessary data, only 8 companies were able to be included in the final analysis, totaling data for 190 gloves. Carbamates were the most common accelerator, used in 90.5% (172/190) of gloves, whereas thiurams were used in only 11 gloves (5.8%). Eight companies surveyed are now advertising and offering touted accelerator-free gloves.

Conclusions Accelerators are used in most examination and surgical gloves; however, manufacturers are now expanding their product offerings to include accelerator-free options.

From the *Department of Dermatology, Parkside Occupational and Contact Dermatitis Clinic, Hennepin County Medical Center; †University of Minnesota School of Medicine; ‡Department of Dermatology, Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and §Department of Dermatology, University of Minnesota, MN.

Reprints not available. Address correspondence to Sara A. Hylwa, MD, Park Nicollet Contact Dermatitis Clinic, 7550 34th Ave S #101, Minneapolis, MN 55450. E-mail:

This material is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The contents do not represent the views of the US Department of Veterans Affairs or the US Government.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to declare.

© 2018 American Contact Dermatitis Society
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