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Justine Charneau, Eagle Protect:

“We found shocking pathogens on new gloves that were still in the box”

"There has been a cannabis recall directly related to contaminated gloves that tested positive for the antimicrobial chemical o-Phenylphenol right out of the box. The growers did everything right, but because they had purchased dirty gloves, their product got contaminated and flagged during testing," says Justine Charneau, National Cannabis Sales Manager of Eagle Protect. The company supplies nitrile glove options for the cannabis industry that do not contain toxins that are often added during glove manufacturing to reduce costs. "Our Delta Zero range of gloves is tested for ultimate glove safety and performance, ensuring against cannabis recalls caused by toxins in nitrile gloves."

Increasing glove safety
According to Justine, there is a lack of effective regulations, inspections, and enforcement in glove manufacturing and procurement practices. This allows for unsafe and cheap hazardous ingredients to be added during manufacturing, which introduces chemical contaminants capable of recalls. "Microbial contaminants can also be introduced from polluted water sources or poor manufacturing processes. Either contamination source increases the risk of introducing harmful toxins or pathogens, including Aspergillus, to cannabis processing." Therefore, Justine emphasizes that improving glove manufacturing regulations and establishing appropriate bioburden testing standards are necessary to ensure glove safety, especially in highly regulated industries such as cannabis.

While cannabis is still a relatively new and evolving industry, it is quite heavily regulated and undergoes rigorous product testing. "As safety and testing standards continue to develop, we know this is something that everyone in the cannabis industry is keeping a close watch on," Justine says. "We've done pretty extensive research on gloves and, frankly, found shocking pathogens, including Aspergillus, on new gloves still in the box. We are working to elevate the glove industry and set a new standard that will help eliminate this glove contamination threat. We started with a line of our Delta Zero verified gloves, which are third-party tested, and we hope this expands across the industry. The gloves are tested against harmful toxins and microbes and for consistent raw material ingredients."

According to Justine, there is definitely a demand for quality gloves, particularly in the medical cannabis industry. "In particular, evidence-based reports of medical exam gloves heavily contaminated with Aspergillus due to gloves being insufficiently dried, packaged, and distributed in moist conditions are risks to vulnerable patients. Taking the risk of using cheap and potentially contaminated gloves can be mitigated with our Delta Zero verified gloves."

Raising awareness
The company will soon be contributing to four articles in the International Journal of Food Protection, the first of which is currently in submission for peer review. "This highlights the risks of food and medical exam gloves affecting food and healthcare industries, consumers and patients, as well as glove wearers. We are excited that people are starting to discuss gloves and expect more from their suppliers."

For more information:
Eagle Protect
Justine Charneau
[email protected]