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Absorbable Dusting Powder
A powder used to ease the donning of gloves. It is made of edible modified cornstarch and a small percentage of magnesium oxide as defined by USP, the United States Pharmacopoeia.

Accelerator
A chemical used as a catalyst to accelerate the process of turning liquid latex or liquid butadiene nitrile into gel form for manufacturing.

AQL
Acceptable Quality Level, is a quality specification that the FDA and the manufacturers use to specify the pinhole rate in surgical and exam gloves. For example, AQL of 2.5 means the defect level from a very large numbers of gloves (say one million pieces) will not be more than 2.5%.

ASTM
The American Society of Testing and Materials. Organized in 1898, The ASTM is a not-for-profit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems and services in various industries. The FDA uses some of the standards and specifications developed by the ASTM to establish its requirements for many products, such as examination gloves.

Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE)
BFE or Bacterial Filtration Efficiency measures the filtration efficiency of a face mask or how well the face mask prevents passage of aerosolized bacteria. BFE is represented in % and the higher the number (%), the better and more efficient a face mask functions in filtering out bacterial particles.

B Grade Gloves
Also known as industrial grade or general purpose gloves. They are not for medical use. These gloves are either made to not meet medical glove standards in the first place, or they fail in pinhole rates or specifications in quality control, and are downgraded from medical grade to B grade. These gloves are usually labeled as disposable gloves, “not for medical use”, and cannot be labeled as examination gloves.

Burst Test (for sterilization pouches)
Burst test for sterilization pouches is to evaluate the pouches failure tendencies when they are exposed to pressure differentials. To perform the test, the pouches are inflated with an increasing internal pressure inside the pouches until the seal failure occurred. Burst strength will then be measured i the unit of PSI.

Calcium Carbonate
A mold-release agent added in production to help the release of gloves from the hand molds or formers. Calcium carbonate occurs naturally in chalk, limestone and sea shells.

Delta P or Differential Pressure (of face masks)
Delta P or Differential Pressure is the pressure drop, measured in mm H2O/cm2, across a face mask, or a measurement of how easy or difficult a face mask allows air flowing through, which in turn determines the breathability and comfort level of the user wearing the mask. From a scale of 1 to 5, a lower Delta P of 1 to 3 means better breathability; whereas a higher Delta P of 3 and up means the wearer could feel warm and more difficult to breath though when wearing the mask.

Eczema
Dermatitis and inflammation of the skin, that later can develop into thickening and hardening of the skin.

Elongation
Measurement of the length a glove can be stretched before it breaks. It is expressed as a percent of the original length of the glove right at the moment it breaks. The higher the percent, the more stretchable the glove material.

Filtration Value (of face masks)
The percentage of particles of a certain size, filtered out by a face mask. This is determined by a face mask’s filtration material and its pore size in microns. A face mask that filters out a higher % of small particles is more protective. It is important to know both the % of particles filtered and the size of the particles. Two terms used to describe these values are Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) and Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE).

Fluid Resistance (of face masks)
Fluid resistance or splash resistance is the ability of a face mask in resisting the penetration of blood and body fluids. It measures the face mask’s ability to minimize blood or fluids from traveling and penetrating through the mask and potentially coming in contact with the wearer. A face mask is more fluid resistance when it can prevent the penetration of blood or body fluid traveling at higher velocity.

Industrial Grade Gloves
See B grade gloves.

Modulus
A low modulus glove is easy to stretch, whereby a high modulus glove is hard to move and stretch.

Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE)
The PFE or Particle Filtration Efficiency measures the percentage of particles that is filtered out or do not pass through at a pore size of 0.1 to 1 micron of a face mask. The higher the PFE of a face mask, the more protection it provides to the wearer.

Permeation
Movement of substance through a thin film, such as a glove, on a molecular level.

Primary Skin Irritation Test
A test to determine if certain material can cause skin irritation. The test material, such as a piece of glove material, is attached to the skin of test subjects, such as rabbits or guinea pigs. After maintaining the skin contact for 24 hours, the contact area is observed for up to 72 hours for any kind of skin reactions.

Rhinitis
Inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane.

Sensitization
The process of developing an allergy.

Splash Resistance (of face masks)
See Fluid Resistance.

Tensile strength
Measurement of the amount of force or pull required to break a glove. Tensile strength is expressed in MPa. The higher the MPa, the stronger the glove material.

Vulcanization
A manufacturing process whereby a glove is treated and hardened from gel form into solid form in a heating oven.

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