Understanding chemical accelerators

Not all adverse reactions and skin irritations to medical gloves are caused by latex.

Chemical accelerators and other sensitising substances used during the glove manufacturing process can also cause discomfort and skin irritation to the glove wearer.
Chemical accelerators, like Diphenylguanidine (DPG), are recognised as the primary cause of contact dermatitis (Type IV allergic reactions) in healthcare workers.
The use of chemical accelerators is not limited to the manufacture of latex gloves. They are also present in latex free gloves such as nitrile, neoprene or polyisoprene gloves. Despite being known to cause adverse reactions, chemical accelerators are used during glove manufacture to:

  • Provide elasticity (stretch) to the glove
  • Give tensile strength to the glove material
  • Give integrity to the glove material during use
  • Stabilise the glove material for long term storage

Recognising that chemical allergies and contact dermatitis are a growing concern in the healthcare industry, Ansell has developed a DPG-free polyisoprene formulation. The improved, DPG-free polyisoprene formulation provides an allergy solution for healthcare workers suffering from latex allergies and Type IV allergies caused by DPG, while at the same time provides latex-like comfort.

Ansell’s GAMMEX® PF IsoDerm® and GAMMEX® PF IsoDerm® Sensitive surgical gloves are now made from an improved, DPG-free polyisoprene formulation.

For more information about what Ansell is doing to minimise the allergenictiy of our medical gloves, click here.

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