High technology is now at our fingertips – literally. A new type of disposable glove emits chlorine dioxide when exposed to light or moisture, killing potentially harmful microbes and making it ideal for use among health care and food workers, according to a study in the March 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.
The vinyl or polyethylene gloves contain microspheres that release chlorine dioxide, a water-soluble gas used to disinfect drinking water and processed foods. Chlorine dioxide can destroy a variety of microorganisms, including E. coli, staphylococcus and salmonella, reducing the risk of the glove-wearer transmitting bacteria encountered in medical or food-handling work.
Infusing materials with chlorine dioxide to reduce the numbers of dangerous microorganisms is a concept that could be extremely helpful to a number of industries, according to Dr. Michael Barza, author of the study. "To me, the most interesting thing about this technology is that it is really a platform technology that could be applied to control of infection in many other circumstances besides gloves and hands," he said. "For example, it could be used in the food industry, including supermarkets, delis and fast food markets." Other medical devices, such as vascular and urinary catheters, if made with the gas-emitting microspheres, could prevent infections that might endanger already vulnerable patients, he added.
Diana Olson | EurekAlert!
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