Exam gloves are used by coroners, doctors, nurses, paramedics and other individuals in the health industry. Also known as medical gloves, exam gloves are disposable gloves that protect patients and caregivers from the transference of diseases and germs. These gloves are made from different materials for different purposes. Most commonly, exam gloves are made of latex. This is a lightweight plastic that is perfect for protecting a person during routine exams. A heavier rubber called neoprene is used for surgical gloves because it is more resistant during the procedure. Finally, nitrile gloves are used by surgeons, coroners and funeral directors alike for its extreme thickness and durability during procedures.
Exam gloves were first developed in 1890 by William Stewart Halsted. He was a student at Johns Hopkins University and was studying germ theory. The first type of sterilization included using carbolic acid. However, this was an abrasive chemical that was harsh on sensitive skin. Halsted convinced the popular Goodyear Tire Company to create a glove that could be dipped in this acid for sterilization. It was not until 1964 that the first disposable medical gloves made from latex were produced. While latex is still the most common and preferred choice for exam gloves, an increase in latex allergies has led to the production of other glove types with include neoprene and nitrile.
Content adapted from ArticlesBase.