Nitrile: The Latex Killer?

24 Mar

SW_pH_Natural_5.5_Soft_Nitrile

SW pH Natural 5.5 Soft Nitrile Exam Glove

Widely touted as the latex allergy cure-all, latex-free nitrile disposable gloves rapidly permeated the market backed by claims of superior chemical resistance, tear resistance, and barrier protection. Those frequently in contact with bodily fluids or solvents, such as dentistry professionals and automotive specialists, soon adopted the prestigious gloves into their safety supply regimen. Yet, as with most supposed universal fixes, all is not well in nitrile-ville.

Consider the mysterious occurrence of nitrile allergy. Generally unrecognized across all industries, the lesser known aversion is slowly garnering the attention it deserves. Similar to its big brother latex allergy, nitrile allergy can likely be attributed to the chemical additives contaminating the majority of disposable gloves currently on the market. Users often mistakenly identify chemical allergies for adverse reactions to latex or nitrile. The less a glove is washed after leaving the manufacturing line; the more residues are left on the material, fiendishly waiting to unleash contact dermatitis upon unsuspecting wearers. This is the case with powdered gloves.

Chemicals commonly called rubber accelerators are usually the culprits. Benzothiazoles, carba chemicals, thiurams, and hexamethylenetetramine (methenamine) are used to speed up the manufacturing process of rubber, or vulcanization. Vulcanization transforms untreated natural rubber latex into a material better suited for the manufacture of a multitude of products such as garden hoses, electrical cords, and dental dams. Unfortunately, lingering trace amounts of these accelerators can cause irritation and result in a stubborn skin rash.

Logically, disposable glove manufacturers and distributors responded to this growing concern in kind. Many products are now adorned with “Accelerator Free” labels that may or may not be substantiated. In fact, the FDA website warns consumers to be weary of misbranding:

Gloves that have exaggerated, untrue, or unsubstantiated claims are “misbranded” under section 502(a) of the Act, because the labeling is false or misleading in some manner.

So, what should anxious consumers do, now faced with mounting hesitations toward both latex and nitrile disposable gloves? Buy a clean product. Buy a powder-free product. It’s worth repeating that the bulk of manufacturers do not wash their gloves after processing, leaving each one swarming with angry chemical hitchhikers. Users increase the risk of a potential allergic reaction, regardless of the type of glove worn. Think of it like wearing brand new clothes before washing them first. The bottom line: be sure to ask your manufacturer what precautions they are taking to ensure you’re using a truly hygienic glove.

 

References

Allergy to rubber accelerators. (2002). Retrieved August 20, 2010, from http://dermnetnz.org/dermatitis/rubber-antioxidant-allergy.html.

Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff – Medical Glove Guidance Manual. (2010). Retrieved August 20, 2010, from http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/ucm073111.htm.

Infection Control News

17 Mar

Infection control ‘will be hit by nursing cuts’

Progress made in tackling hospital infections in Scotland could come under threat if nursing numbers are cut, representatives of the profession has warned.

Ellen Hudson, an associate director at the Royal College of Nursing, made the comments as the Healthcare Associated Infection task force report for 2008-11 was published. (read more)

CVPH sees increase in VRE, not in infection rates

PLATTSBURGH — Infection-control staff at CVPH Medical Center have identified an internal increase in the drug-resistant strain of a common infection-causing bacteria.

But the hospital continues to work on reducing the potential for infections. (read more)

Experts Agree U.S. Needs to Step Up Infection Control Efforts Starting With Hand Hygiene Practices

MUNDELEIN, IL–(Marketwire – March 16, 2011) – U.S. healthcare facilities are grossly underperforming in hand hygiene compliance, which could impact healthcare-associated infections and patient safety, said two of the world’s foremost experts on infection prevention and hand hygiene. (read more)

Wash Your Hands? You May Now Approach the Patient Bed

Newswise — Each year patients in the U.S. get more than a million infections while in the hospital being treated for something else. The best way to prevent infection is to practice proper hand hygiene, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, when a caregiver enters a patient’s room in an intensive care unit, a new, fully automated system will sense whether he has cleaned his hands. UIC is the fourth hospital in the country to install Xhale Innovations’ HyGreen Hand Hygiene System. (read more)

Risk Factors, Assessment Play Into Orthopedic SSI Prevention

Now that surgical site infections (SSIs) are being targeted for reduction by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in its Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections, hospitals have even greater incentive to address orthopedic-related SSIs which present immense costs and significant morbidity and mortality. According to the Guide to the Elimination of Orthopedic Surgical Site Infections, APIC’s latest elimination guide released in January, it is estimated that between 6,000 and 20,000 orthopedic SSIs occur annually, increasing the average hospital stay by two weeks and increasing the costs of these procedures by as much as 300 percent. (read more)

How Patients & Hospitals Can Help Prevent the Spread of HAIs

Newswise — Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) represent a growing concern for both patients and healthcare providers across the nation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 1.7 million HAIs occur each year and contribute to the death of 99,000. Additionally, HAIs are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, resulting in the death of more people annually than AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined. (read more)

Illinois Hospital Report Card Adds Infection Control Data

The Illinois Department of Public Health has added several updates to the Hospital Report Card and Consumer Guide to Health Care website, including new information about hospital-acquired infection prevention and control staffing and rates of newborn breastfeeding in hospitals, according to an IDPH news release.

The infection control staffing measures now available on the website show the number of infection prevention and control staff for every 100 authorized hospital beds. These new data supplement the information on central line-associated bloodstream infections already provided on the report card. (read more)

Infection Control: Hand Hygiene

9 Mar

Hand_washingAlthough proper hand hygiene techniques may be viewed as elementary by many, its significance shouldn’t be overlooked. In a recent article from Becker’s Hospital Review, Dr. Rabih Darouiche of Baylor College of Medicine said:

“Hand-washing is one of the most important elements of creating a sterile environment; it’s something everybody should utilize in any scenario where it’s indicated. Unfortunately, we are humans, we are overworked and we tend to adhere more to quick fixes like hand-washing when we have been recently educated and reminded about it. Or when we realize personnel from the infection control department are actually watching us.”

In the spirit of promoting education and training, your friends at SW would like to offer a few tips from the World Health Organization (WHO):

Do the right thing! Be part of the solution! Avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others! :)

Rubber Update

24 Feb
rubber_plantation

Rubber plantation in Kerala, India.

Margins of rubber glove firms pinched

High latex cost and weak US dollar have started to hurt the profit margins of rubber glove companies such as Supermax Corp Bhd and Latexx Partners Bhd, based on their recent quarterly results.

Most analysts, however, are still positive on Hartalega Holdings Bhd, which makes more synthetic rubber gloves than the natural rubber variant. (read on)

Ministry Looks At Replanting Rubber To Meet Increasing Demand

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 24 (Bernama) — The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry will propose to the cabinet plans to replant 40 hectares of rubber trees per year to meet the current strong demand.

Its Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said his ministry would also propose 13,000 hectares of new plantation a year to increase rubber production level. (read on)

FDA Warning About Powdered Gloves

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Recommended Warning for Surgeon’s Gloves and Patient Examination Gloves that Use Powder. This draft guidance recommends use of a warning statement on labels for powdered medical gloves, specifically surgeon’s gloves (21 CFR 878.4460) and patient examination gloves (21 CFR 880.6250) (medical gloves that use powder). The FDA said it is concerned about the potential adverse health effects from powdered medical gloves and is recommending that the labeling for medical gloves that use powder provide a warning related to those potential health effects. (read on)

Bonds yields fall as investors focus on $100 oil

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Bond yields are continuing their pullback, as political upheaval in Libya dominates headlines and pushes oil prices above $100 a barrel.

Civil unrest in Libya has entered its 10th day, fueled by citizens protesting dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year reign and high unemployment. Libya is Africa’s third-largest oil producer and sits atop the continent’s largest reserves. (read on)

Eni, Marathon Most Exposed to Libya

The unrest in Libya is raising concerns over spare capacity — the country produced about 1.56 million barrels per day in December 2010.

The stocks most exposed to Libya in production terms are: Eni (ticker: E) with 12% [of total production]; Marathon Oil (ticker: MRO) with 12%; OMV Group [traded in Vienna] with 10%; and Hess (HES) with 5%. (read on)

Analysis: Europe’s refiners struggle to replace Libyan oil

(Reuters) – The loss of Libyan oil is a heavy blow to European refiners who face a costly struggle to replace the easy-to-refine crude because of a shortage of matching grades.

Violent revolt in Libya as Muammar Gaddafi clings to power has shut down as much as three-quarters of its output, according to some estimates. (read on)

Yen, Swiss Franc Gain as Concern on Libya Fuels Safety Demand

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) — The Swiss franc climbed to a record against the dollar and the yen strengthened to an almost three- week high as the uprising in Libya drove oil to a 29-month high, spurring demand for the safest assets.

The dollar reached the lowest in three weeks versus the euro amid speculation the European Central Bank will raise interest rates before the Federal Reserve. The yen breached 82 per dollar for the first time since Feb. 8 as U.S. Treasury yields traded near three-week lows, dimming the attraction of dollar-denominated assets. Currencies of commodity exporters such as Australia and Canada climbed. (read on)

US STOCKS – Futures down as oil prices rally on Libyan turmoil

NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday, signaling another down day on Wall Street, as oil continued to rally on turmoil in Libya, denting investor sentiment.

U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 soared 3.6 percent a barrel to above $101 on mounting fears the unrest in Libya that has cut more than one-quarter of the OPEC-member’s crude output could spread to other major producers in the region, including top exporter Saudi Arabia. For details, see [ID:nLDE71N009] and [O/R] (read on)

Rubber News

18 Feb

 

Rubber_tree

Rubber tree plantation

India’s Rubber Board statistics are authentic: Chairman

KOCHI (Commodity Online) : India’s Rubber Board has clarified that data provided by the board regarding natural rubber stocks is factual; but the reported stocks may not be fully available in the market.

Sheela Thomas, Chairman, Rubber Board in a statement pointed out that the data is sourced from cultivators, traders, processors and manufacturers. (read more)

Supermax counts on new income stream

KUALA LUMPUR: Glove maker Supermax Corp Bhd is banking on a new income stream derived from global sales and marketing network to mitigate any effects of higher production cost.

Executive chairman and group managing director Datuk Seri Stanley Thai said the company would “aggressively globalise” its operations via its net work of about 700 distributors worldwide. (read more)

Rubber Climbs to Record as China May Buy to Replenish Stockpiles

Rubber advanced to a record amid speculation that China, the largest consumer, may step up buying to rebuild stockpiles before the low-production period begins in major growing areas in Thailand. The Thai cash price also climbed to an all-time high.

The July-delivery contract climbed as high as 522.50 yen a kilogram ($6,267 a metric ton) in an after-hours trading on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Trades in this session will be settled tomorrow. The most-active contract has rallied 25 percent this year, extending last year’s 50 percent advance, as rising car sales led by China and India boosted demand for tires. (read more)

Strong demand will boost rubber price

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) expects the natural rubber (NR) market to continue to chart new highs, at least in the first half of this year, on continued strong demand from China and India as well as declining output from major rubber-producing countries.

On Monday, tyre-grade SMR 20 posted a new high of RM17.27 per kg while latex-in-bulk hit RM10.66 per kg. (read more)

Natural rubber prices hit record on supply crunch

The price of natural rubber (NR) today shot up to Rs 237 a kg due to serious supply crunch in the market. The price of benchmark grade RSS-4 may soon reach a new record of Rs 250 a kg, according to leading stockists here. Since the summer season is on the anvil, the production would fall in March-May, hence prices may rise further.

According to Kochi-based dealers, though the Rubber Board data projects a stock of 327,115 tonnes, the market is facing serious shortage even at very high prices. According to their estimates, the total stock in the country might be below 100,000 tonnes. (read more)

US Oil Prices Gaining Ground – Is the Brent WTI-Spread Unwinding?

Mideast tensions are growing. Technical levels are being breached. And there’s a long weekend ahead. All reasons for traders to cover short positions on oversold oil futures and take profits on positions that have skyrocketed over the past few weeks.

Witness the change in the oil price spread, which has been the biggest momentum trade in the crude market for the past few months. Some traders are calling it “a major unwind” of the Brent-WTI spread. (read more)

Middle East Protests Spark ‘Fears Of The Unknown,’ as Prices Rise

As civil unrest spreads through the Middle East, investors continue to fear that political change in the region could disrupt the world’s economies.

Weeks after protests began in Tunisia and Egypt, violence erupted in Bahrain Thursday morning, as riot police assaulted demonstrators. If the upheaval continues to intensify, and if the region’s oil supply is disrupted, rising oil prices could drain consumers’ resources, put jobs at risk and threaten global economies, experts say. But investor fears seem to extend beyond even that prospect. (read more)

GLOBAL MARKETS – Swiss franc, oil rise on Mideast worries

NEW YORK, Feb 17 (Reuters) – The safe-haven Swiss franc and U.S. government bonds rallied on Thursday, while crude oil prices rose as unrest in the Middle East and tensions between Israel and Iran escalated.

U.S. stocks, however, shrugged off concerns about the Middle East as investors bought on early dips. World equities measured by the MSCI All-Country World Index .MIWD00000PUS, hit more than 2-1/2 year highs. (read more)

Rubber and Oil Update

11 Feb

Rubber Production in December 2010 Up 16.6 Percent Month-on-Month

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 (Bernama) — Natural rubber production in December 2010 stood at 85, 231 tonnes, 16.6 per cent or 12,131 tonnes higher, compared to the previous month.

However, year-on-year comparison showed production dwindled 12.1 per cent, said the Statistics Department in a statement on Friday.

It said the smallholding sector contributed 93.7 per cent of total production while the estate sector’s contribution was only 6.3 per cent. (read more)

Rubber uptick continues

Natural rubber prices improved sharply at yesterday’s public auction after a short lull triggered by Chinese Lunar New Year.

The Colombo Rubber Auction saw the Latex Crepe No. 1 hitting new highs as the prices reached Rs.685, up from Rs.25 from the last auction with RSS No. 1 hitting Rs.638.5

Unsettled weather in the region with persistent wet weather has effected production in most rubber planting countries including Sri Lanka, whilst trees in most areas have started shedding leaves indicating signs of wintering. (read more)

Thai Sheet Rubber Likely To Extend Rally On Output

SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)–Prices in Thailand for raw material used to make sheet rubber are likely to rise more than 10% next month as seasonal factors deepen a supply crunch, extending a recent sharp rally that has sent rubber futures skyrocketing, traders said Friday.

With producers making more raw material for block rubber and the wintering season starting in the next few weeks, spot prices for USS3 unsmoked rubber sheet could reach THB200 a kilogram, a trader in Hat Yai province said. (read more)

Ansell reports higher sales, profits for 6 months

RICHMOND, Victoria, Australia (Feb. 10, 2011)—Ansell Ltd. has reported sales up by 9 percent and profits up by 6 percent for the six months to Dec. 31.

The company said sales rose to $583.7 million in the six months, up by about 9 percent on the previous year’s first-half figure of $533.3 million.

Profits (EBIT) increased to $69.3 million from $65.6 million a year earlier. (read more)

FDA calls for warning statements on powdered gloves

Powdered medical gloves, including surgeon’s and patient examination gloves, should carry a warning label about the potential adverse health effects associated with powder, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday.

In a draft guidance document to manufacturers, the FDA expressed concern that users and patients may not be aware of the potential negative consequences related to powdered gloves, including allergic reactions and respiratory problems. (read more)

Ansell expects latex costs to stay high

Gloves and condoms supplier Ansell Ltd says bad weather has contributed to pushing the cost of rubber latex to its highest ever levels, and the company expects it to stay high in the second half of the 2010/11 financial year.

Ansell on Wednesday booked a first half net profit of $64.2 million, up 4.5 per cent on the prior corresponding period.

In US dollars, which is Ansell’s operating currency, net profit for the six months to December 31 rose 12 per cent to $$US 61.0 million. (read more)

Rubber hits fresh  high in firm market

Rubber prices hit a fresh high in a very firm market today, with SMR 20 and latex-in-bulk garnering global interest, dealers said.

A dealer said increasing demand as opposed to supply shortage, made the highly sought commodity extend gains.

At noon, the Malaysian Rubber Board official physical price for tyre-grade SMR 20 rose 12 sen to 1,717.5 sen per kg while latex-in-bulk gained six sen to 1,056.0 sen per kg. (read more)

Rubber craze

A bullish rubber market has encouraged CP Group to beef up its rubber business with fresh investment in the mid-stream industry to supply products for the tyre business of Japan’s Marubeni Corporation.

Montri Congtrakultien believes the CP Group can profit from the rush to own rubber plantations amid higher prices for the commodity. The group expects to sell 600,000 rubber saplings to farmers this year.

The first plant, to be built this year with a capacity to make 20,000 tonnes of block rubber a year for use in the tyre industry, is expected to be located in the new rubber production sites of the North or Northeast (read more)

The Oil Question From Egypt: What Happens Now in Saudi Arabia?

Hosni Mubarek’s rapid depature from the Presidency, just one day after vowing to serve out his term, is an amazing demonstration of the power that the protesters were able to wield. Without a trace of violence, the numbers and persistence were enough to topple a 30-year old regime that had the full support of the military. Leaving the politics aside for the moment, there is a growing likelihood that the success of these protests in Egypt will embolden others in the region to step up their efforts and more actively seek change. In the Middle East, there have been indications of potential unrest in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and Lebanon. But for Saudi Arabia, there is a greater global concern to consider — oil. (read more)

Venezuela Oil Basket Drops $1.96 On Week To $85.64/Barrel

CARACAS (Dow Jones)–The average price for Venezuela’s basket of crude oil and refined products fell $1.96 to $85.64 a barrel during the week that ends Friday, the Oil Ministry said.

So far this year, prices of the country’s oil have averaged $85.75 per barrel, compared with $72.69 in 2010 and $57.01 in 2009. (read more)

Dollar, Gold, Oil Move Lower After Mubarak Exit

As President Hosni Mubarak steps down, plenty of positive reactions in the financial markets, but no shortage of nervousness, too.

Matt notes that the Egypt ETF (EGPT) has spiked higher. In addition, oil prices have pulled back from highs and Treasurys have eased – a little bit — from recent safety-driven gains. (read more)

SW Featured in Dental Product Shopper!

4 Feb
SW_pH_Natural_5.5_Nitrile

Buy a case today! :D!

Check out SW pH Natural 5.5 Nitrile Powder-Free Exam Gloves in the January 2011 issue of Dental Product Shopper!

“SW’s pH Natural 5.5 powder-free examination gloves use a patent-pending technology to aid in restoring the natural pH of the skin, while moisturizing dry skin. With these gloves, wearers will have less hand fatigue when compared with standard alternatives. pH Natural 5.5 powder-free examination gloves are available in latex and soft nitrile.”

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