Disposable gloves available, used, disposed of properly

The basic and most effective forms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from chemical and biological exposure are gloves and lab coats.

Gloves must be selected based on the hazards involved and the activity to be conducted. Gloves must be worn when working with biohazards, toxic substances, hazardous chemicals and other physically hazardous agents. Temperature resistant gloves must be worn when handling hot material or dry ice. Delicate work requiring a high degree of precision dictates the use of thin walled gloves.

When latex gloves have been chosen, alternatives should be made available. Gloves should be changed as soon as possible after they have become contaminated, when their integrity has been compromised or when necessary. Hands should be properly washed with soap and water after removing gloves. Disposable gloves must not be washed or reused and should be disposed of as soon as removed.

Gloves should be removed, and hands washed when work with potentially infectious materials is complete or when leaving the laboratory. If you are transporting potentially infectious materials (i.e., cultures, waste, etc.) to another part of the building use the one glove rule: use one gloved hand for handling the materials and use the other ungloved hand for touching common surfaces such as door knobs and elevator buttons.

The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a ban on all powdered gloves. Exposure to starch powder from gloves can cause undesirable reactions, which vary from well-known allergy symptoms and upper respiratory-tract disorders to surgical adhesions and infections. The presence of glove powder can also result in many other undesirable effects, such as interference in laboratory testing causing false results (i.e. PCR – Polymerase Chain Reaction, enzyme immunoassay or some HIV tests).


  • BMBL 6th ed. HHS Publication No. (CDC) 300859 
  • NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules. April 2019.
  • MSU Biosafety and Security Manual
  • MSU Bloodborne Exposure Control Plan
  • MSU Chemical Hygiene Plan
  • OSHA Standard 1910.1450 App A
  • FDA document 21 CFR Parts 878, 880, and 895

Corrective actions:

Gloves have three acceptable locations:
  1. In the original box 
  2. On a working person’s hands 
  3. In an appropriate waste container for what they are contaminated with 

Gloves cannot be reused and should not be on the bench

Gloves must be worn when employees anticipate hand contact with hazardous materials and when handling or touching contaminated items or surfaces.

Gloves must be removed before leaving the lab and hands must be washed.

Disposable gloves must be replaced when their ability to function as a barrier is compromised, for example after contamination or immediately when torn, punctured, or are otherwise rendered unable to function as an exposure barrier.

Non-latex gloves must be provided to employees who are allergic to latex.

When transporting laboratory items through common spaces outside of the laboratory, remove gloves before touching objects such as doorknobs, phones, or elevator buttons, etc. See flyer (PDF) on EHS website.

Gloves are designed to protect hands from a particular set of hazards and reduce the chance of skin contamination but do not provide absolute protection. As many chemicals can pass through or damage disposable gloves it is imperative to select the appropriate type of gloves to be used for your lab activities.

If you have questions about glove selection contact EHS at 517-355-0153.