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What is “powder free”? Characterisation of powder aerosol produced during simulated use of powdered and powder free latex gloves
  1. M L Phillips,
  2. C C Meagher,
  3. D L Johnson
  1. Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Oklahoma, Health Sciences Center, PO Box 26901, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73190, USA
  1. Dr M L Phillipsmargaret-phillips{at}


OBJECTIVES To characterise the distribution of particle size and mass of glove powder aerosol released from powdered and powder free non-sterile latex gloves under controlled conditions.

METHODS Gravimetric sampling and aerodynamic particle size analysis were performed during simulated use of gloves on a prosthetic hand in a chamber designed to minimise background particle concentrations.

RESULTS Aerosol was detectable for both powdered and powder free gloves under both aggressive and non-aggressive handling conditions. Most of the particles detected had aerodynamic diameter less than 10 μm.

CONCLUSION Powder free gloves were not entirely free of powder aerosol. Particles from both powdered and powder free gloves are sufficiently fine to penetrate into the thoracic region of the respiratory tract.

  • latex gloves
  • glove powder
  • aerosol

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