Glossary of Terms M-P

Magnesium Oxide

A very fine, white, odorless powder which is added to modified cornstarch that prevents caking in the production of USP absorbable dusting powder. No more than 2% is allowed.

Major Defects

A defect that may cause the product to fail, cause poor performance or shortened life of the unit (e.g pinhole).


Measurement used for thickness of glove. Millimeters divided by 0.25=mil. One mill=0.001 inches=0.025mm

Minor Defect

A cosmetic defect that is not likely to reduce materially the usability of the glove (e.g. discoloration).

Modulus measures the resistance to stretch. This calculation is the amount of pull required to stretch the material to 500% elongation (given in megapascals). The lower the modulus rating, the softer the glove feels to the wearer. If a glove is less resistant to stretch, it is less fatiguing to the hand. The ASTM establishes the maximum requirements for modulus in medical gloves. Latex examination gloves must conform to physical requirements of ASTM standard D3578. Modulus requirements for a latex examination glove are 5.5 MPa at 500% elongation. A low modulus glove is softer and easier to stretch and flex, whereby a high modulus glove is harder to move and stretch.


A synthetic rubber developed as an oil resistant substitute for natural rubber latex. It also resists a broad range of chemicals.


Nitrile gloves are made from a synthetic polymer composed of three monomers: acrylonitrile, butadiene and a carboxylic acid. The polymer properties are dependent on variations in composition. The term "nitrile" is used as a description because many of the distinguishing features of these polymers are due to the monomer acrylonitrile. The monomer imparts permeation resistance, allowing the material to withstand exposure to a wide variety of solvents and chemicals. It also determines the softness of the product and permits nitrile to be made with either a high or low modulus.


The elimination of Chlorine treatment through use of coatings. Non-Chlorinated gloves generally have improved shelf life, color and scent.


NSF International, The Public Health and Safety Company™, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, is the world leader in standards development, product certification, education, and risk-management for public health and safety. For 60 years, NSF has been committed to public health, safety, and protection of the environment. While focusing on food, water, indoor air, and the environment, NSF develops national standards, provides learning opportunities through its Center for Public Health Education, and provides third-party conformity assessment services while representing the interests of all stakeholders. The primary stakeholder groups include industry, the regulatory community, and the public at large.

NSF is widely recognized for its scientific and technical expertise in the health and environmental sciences. Its professional staff includes engineers, chemists, toxicologists, and environmental health professionals with broad experience both in public and private organizations.

NSF has earned the Collaborating Center designations by the World Health Organization (WHO) for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

Serving manufacturers operating in 80 countries, NSF was founded in 1944 and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI USA. The NSF Mark is recognized for its value in international trade around the world.

NSF Protocol P155

This protocol covers disposable single-task gloves typically used for food handling, preparation, and service tasks. This protocol establishes criteria for product quality in terms of toxicology (indirect food additive), physical properties (tensile strength, elongation), barrier resistance (leakage), and sanitation (bioburden). The criteria in the protocol are divided into general requirements for all gloves and material-specific requirements that apply to the major material-types used in food contact gloves: polyethylene, vinyl, natural rubber latex, nitrile, and other synthetic blends. As new materials are developed in the industry, material-specific requirements may be added in subsequent revisions of the protocol. As new test methods and regulatory requirements (e.g. ASTM, FDA) are developed dealing with durability or other product quality parameters, they may be added as well, in consultation with an expert panel consisting of health officials, manufacturers, users and other stakeholders.


An extremely reactive gas (O3) that is produced by the interaction of oxygen and an energy source. Generators, fans, electrocautery units, X-Ray machines, etc. all produce ozone when running. Ozone exposure can lead to deterioration of latex and most synthetic gloves.


The movement of a chemical through a glove or molecular level. Data displaying permeation values represent breakthrough times when the glove is under continuous contact with the test chemical.


Minute holes that may be present in glove film. They are often created by presence of debris (dust, dirt, etc.) during the manufacturing process.

Polymer Coated

A synthetic material (compounded by polymerization and consisting of repeating structural units) applied to the inside of the glove during manufacturing to eliminate or reduce the need for donning powders such as cornstarch.


Various synthetic resins that can become flexible or set when heated and that are used for coatings, padding, insulation, adhesives, and medical/industrial gloves.


Donning powder on gloves is composed of modified cornstarch (USP absorbable dusting powder). Powder facilitates donning and absorbs moisture. Studies have shown powder to function as abrasive particles, immunological activators, and possibly as vehicles for the dissemination of chemicals, proteins and microorganisms. Powder has been implicated in lowering of resistance to infection. It also has been shown to interfere with wound healing processes, increasing the risk for incremental complications in OR and post-operative care.

Primary Skin Irritation Test

A test to determine if a certain material can cause skin irritation. The test material, such as a piece of glove material, is attached to the skin of test subjects, such as rabbits or guinea pigs. After maintaining the skin contact for 24 hours, the contact area is observed for up to 72 hours for any kind of skin reactions.


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