Laboratory gloves as a source of trace element contamination

James K. Friel*, Claude Mercer, Wayne L. Andrews, Brian R. Simmons, Simon E. Jackson, Henry P. Longerich

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Contamination in a trace element laboratory can come from a variety of sources, including laboratory gloves. Therefore, vinyl and latex gloves were obtained from as many manufacturers as would supply gloves. These gloves were either prepared for acid-washing and subsequent soaking in an acid solution, or immersed in an acid solution for a duration of either 1 min or 1 h. Incubation washes were analyzed for a variety of trace elements by flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) or inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-Ms). Results indicated that only three brands of vinyl gloves were acceptable for use in a trace element laboratory, whereas others had contamination of different elements. Latex gloves contained such high levels of biologically important elements that they were not considered suitable for routine trace element work. Vinyl gloves of choice should be routinely acid- washed before use in a trace element laboratory.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135-142
    Number of pages8
    JournalBiological Trace Element Research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


    • Gloves
    • ICP-MS
    • trace elements


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