Fiction and truth - Virus permeability of surgical gloves

Are surgical gloves really impermeable to bacteria and viruses? During the last few months various reports have been published via the media, which cast doubt on this statement for about one third of all gloves. The question is, however, is there any foundation to these doubts?

Wednesday, 27 March 1996. The well-known "World of Science" is publishing an article on the subject of the permeability of vial agents through medical gloves. The content was hard hitting: Scientists of the Medical College in Milwaukee suspect that more than 30% of all latex gloves are not impermeable against bacteria and viruses. Are micro-organisms really capable of penetrating the latex film of a glove? The American scientists suspect that with a film-like structure of the latex material some pore-like pene-trations could exist, which would form a type of passage for microorganisms. It is therefore essential to know what a medical glove looks like under the micro-scope.

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