Eagle Protect discontinues vinyl glove sales due to food safety and health risks
Due to growing scientific evidence of the toxic effects of vinyl (PVC) gloves to the environment, to food safety and to
glove user health, Eagle Protect, leading supplier of disposable gloves to 80% of NZ’s primary food processing industry,
has discontinued selling vinyl gloves.
Eagle is not alone in its decision. In 2001 Japan banned PVC gloves for food handling due to the well documented adverse
effects on health and food safety.
The heavy chlorine content in PVC causes dioxins to be released into the surrounding atmosphere during manufacturing,
burning or landfilling of PVC. Exposure to dioxins can reportedly cause reproductive, developmental, and other health
problems, and at least one dioxin is classified as a carcinogen. Vinyl gloves can contain phthalates which have been
shown to leach from the gloves into the human body, and can easily leach and evaporate into food, particularly fatty
food - phthalates DiNP and DEHP have been found to cause cancer.
Studies have proven vinyl gloves have a failure rate of up to 50%, and in some cases begin leaking as soon as they are
donned. New research also shows vinyl gloves are permeable to bacteria and virus, and have a significantly increase the
risk of cross-contamination - reasons why vinyl gloves and have been described as “infection control nightmares.”
While vinyl gloves are cheap per glove, the economics driving the selection of disposable gloves expand far beyond per
unit cost, though many glove supply companies and procurement professionals don't see it as such. They fail to factor in
food safety and cross contamination aspects, focusing primarily on finding the most inexpensive glove option for their
organization. This low-cost methodology does not factor in the cost of business risk of compromised food safety,
together with the environmental and human health implications of vinyl gloves.