Glossary of Terms A-B

Absorbable Dusting Powder

Glove powder used to ease the donning of gloves. It is made of edible modified cornstarch with a small percentage of magnesium oxide, as defined by USP, the United States Pharmacopoeia.

Chemicals that are used as a catalyst which accelerate the process of turning liquid latex into a gel form. These additional chemicals, which are added in during the manufacturing of latex gloves, are added mainly for elasticity and durability.


To disperse as an aerosol. A suspension of fine solid in gas, such as air. A common factor in powdered latex gloves.


A substance, usually a protein, that is able to elicit an IgE antibody response and activate mast cells. Every allergen is an antigen but not every antigen is an allergen.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

An allergic rash (Type IV) with physiological memory to the chemical sensitizer that caused it. This means that it will cause the allergic rash again with subsequent exposure.


Can be used on either the left or right.


Ammonia is a preservative and stabilizer in latex concentrate.

Anaphylactic Shock

Often severe and sometimes fatal systemic reaction in a susceptible individual upon exposure to a specific antigen after previous sensitization. Is usually characterized by respiratory symptoms, fainting, itching and urticaria.


A protein or carbohydrate substance which is capable of eliciting an immune (antibody or cellular) response; a molecule that causes the creation of and subsequently combines with the antibody or antigen-specific receptor on a T-cell. Both thiuram (Type IV contact sensitizer) and natural rubber latex proteins (Type I allergen) are antigens.


Acceptable Quality Level, is a quality specification that the FDA and the all glove manufacturers use to specify the pinhole rate in surgical and examination gloves. The FDA specifies an AQL of 1.5 for surgical gloves and 2.5 for examination gloves. An AQL of 2.5 means the defect level from a large sampling of gloves will not be more than 2.5%.

ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials)

Organized in 1898, The ASTM is a not-for-profit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary standards for materials, products, systems and services in various industries. The FDA uses some of the standards and specifications developed by the ASTM to establish its requirements for examination gloves.

ASTM D3577 – Standard Specification for Rubber Surgical Gloves

This specifies dimensions, tolerances and physical requirements for latex surgical gloves.

ASTM D3578 – Standard Specification of Rubber Examination Gloves

This specifies dimensions, tolerances and physical requirements for latex examination gloves.

ASTM D5151 – Standard Test Method for the Detection of Holes in Medical Gloves

This test method covers the detection of holes that allow water leakage under conditions described in the test.

ASTM D5250-00e4 – Standard Specification for Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) Examination Gloves

This specifies dimensions, tolerances and physical requirements for vinyl examination gloves.

ASTM D5712-95 – Analysis of Protein in Natural Rubber and It’s Products

An analytical test method to determine the amount of extractable protein associated with natural rubber and it’s products. All protein labeled latex gloves may only contain a maximum of 50 micrograms of protein per gram of glove when tested.

ASTM D6124 – Standard Test Method for Residual Powder on Medical Gloves

This test method determines the average powder or filter retained mass found on a sample of medical gloves as described in the test. The target amount of powder per powdered glove is 120mg and powder free gloves may only contain a maximum of 2.0mg powder per glove.

B Grade/Multi Purpose - Run of the Line Gloves

Also known as industrial grade gloves, for non medical use. These gloves are either made to not meet medical glove standards in the first place, or they fail in pinhole rates or specifications in quality control, and are downgraded from medical grade to B grade. These gloves are usually labeled as disposable gloves and cannot be labeled as exam gloves. May also be known as “run of the line” gloves.

Beaded Cuff

A Rolled or “bead” at the open end of a glove. The beading increases the glove strength when donning and effectively adds protection against any fluid drips.


A glove finish characterized by a less glossy surface and decreased slickness. Also known as a matted surface.

Blood-borne Pathogens

Infectious organisms in the blood, of which the predominant medical interest is their contamination of gloves, etc. all of which health workers are exposed to.

Break Through Time

The time elapsed between the initial chemical reaction and the detection of the chemical inside the glove.


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