Blog Member: Do you think your disposable gloves are clean? Think Again.

Eagle Protect by Justine Charneau

Disposable gloves are a great barrier for those in the cannabis business who work with products at the stages of cultivation, harvesting and processing. Wearers gain from disposable gloves in two ways. The “food-safe”, rated gloves reduce the risk of cross-contamination, but they also protect employees from other threats, such as THC, chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers. Cross-contamination caused a costly recall in one case, where O-Phenylphenol, a cancerous chemical compound, was found at a cannabis farm that appeared to be pesticide free.

If your cannabis employees believe that disposable gloves are clean and intact right out of their box, it is time to reconsider this belief.

Recent Study Identifies Glove Contaminants

Recent findings of a multi-year investigation on the potential contamination of gloves revealed alarming results regarding new and unworn gloves. Two thousand and eight hundred gloves from 26 different brands were tested using four metagenomic sequences in order to detect contamination on the interior and exterior surfaces. In 50% of all samples tested and analyzed, traces of human waste were found on the gloves. The testing detected harmful pathogens that can cause cross-contamination within cannabis supply chains. The testing detected a variety of yeast species and a range of distinct genera, including Penicillium and Cladosporium.

How Could This Happen?

You might be wondering how disposable gloves that have never been used can be contaminated straight out of the package. The contamination happens during the manufacturing process, before the gloves are packed in the box. There are two main causes for this. Not all glove suppliers manufacture their products in an hygienic and clean environment. Many factories that produce single-use gloves use contaminated water, unsanitary raw materials and ineffective quality control processes. The FDA’s current regulations are lax in their enforcement and oversight, and do not require that imported gloves complying with food safety standards be tested for rips and tears or pathogens.

Not all Glove Suppliers Are Equal

Be careful not to let your mind be dominated by the idea that gloves are unsafe and unreliable. There are distributors and suppliers who go above and beyond in order to ensure their products are free of harmful contaminants. Glove suppliers who adhere to industry standards of performance, safety, and quality are known for their self-policing manufacturing processes. They ensure that the products are made with appropriate raw materials that are free from harmful chemicals, toxic substances, or microorganisms. Some even conduct regular audits in order to check the efficiency of their manufacturing processes.

The cheapest gloves will save you some money, but they also carry a higher risk of contamination. Premium quality gloves will be more affordable in the long run than you might think. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that the PPE you need will not be responsible for a costly recall of products that could be detrimental to your company’s reputation and profitability.

Justine Charneau, the head of cannabis sales at Eagle Protect is dedicated to ensuring customer safety, impact reduction and ultimately mitigating risk. Eagle Protect is a Certified B Corporation. This is the only global PPE provider that has achieved the highest standards for glove safety, performance, accountability and transparency. She can be reached at

Think Again. appeared first on The National Cannabis Industry Association. Think Again. was first published by The National Cannabis Industry Association.