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Laboratory gloves are a must for many laboratory personnel. They are used to protect their hands from chemicals that cause skin or eye damage and other hazards. It is also recommended to wear gloves during experiments where infectious pathogens in microbes and other secretion agents may be present. Laboratory gloves can be found in the Laboratory Glove Box at the end of most lab benches. But there are many situations wherein gloves are not available. In these instances, the necessity of gloves arises. Here, gloves are indispensable for appropriately protecting hands in the laboratory.

Apart from the general laboratory, gloves, glove boxes, and glove test tubes are also needed in various departments like microbiology, virology, and immunology. A glove box needs to prevent hazards like infection during experiments involving microbes and other parasites. Gloves can be contaminated if they contact infected animals or possible contamination sources while in use. The results might be wrong or inconclusive if contamination occurred during experiments. Hence there is a need to carefully handle gloves when performing bioprospecting procedures alone or with colleagues, significantly when samples are contaminated or unsuitable.

Types of Laboratory Glove Boxes

Laboratory glove boxes come in different types depending upon their area of use.

  • The most common glove boxes are polyethene, polypropylene, silicone, or stainless steel. They are commonly transparent or semi-transparent for more straightforward observation. The type of gloves used in the box depends on the kind of material its exterior is composed of.
  • Laboratory gloves are also used in industries like pharmaceutical and food processing. These gloves are made of nitrile, latex, or vinyl. Aside from protection against chemicals, they provide added safety when handling raw materials with increased sanitation requirements.
  • Glove test tubes are just like regular gloves. They can be used to secure cultures during transportation. For example, sample bottles containing bacteria and parasites like e coli or viruses such as herpes. Viruses require microbiological test tubes and do not allow direct contact with the hand.
  • The use of gloves in the glove box is highly recomende3d for the prevention form cross-contamination. Therefore, the gloves that come with the box must be cleaned and disinfected before being put to use. A glove test tube allows this by ensuring a barrier between the culture and your hand while transporting it.
  • There are also Laboratory Glove Box that is used as water goggles. These are used for protecting the eyes when working with chemicals and other hazardous materials that may cause eye damage. In a glove box, these gels or liquids can be used without fear of contaminating the clean environment of a lab bench.

How to properly use a Laboratory Glove Box?

Laboratory gloves must be cleaned and disinfected before use. To do this, place the gloves in a pan of water and heat them for 5 minutes. Dry the gloves entirely before placing them in the box. The recommended type of glove box is polyethylene, polypropylene, silicone, or stainless steel. These materials are transparent or semi-transparent, which allows easy observation. The type of gloves that can be used in the box depends on the kind of material its exterior is composed of

The use of gloves in the glove box is highly recommended to prevent cross-contamination. However, the gloves that come with the box must be cleaned and disinfected before being put to use. A glove test tube allows this by ensuring a barrier between the culture and your hand while transporting it.

Precautions to Be Taken When Using a Laboratory Glove Box

  • Both gloves and test tubes should be disinfected before use. Keep gloves in the box and seal the box when not in use.
  • Never touch the sides of the box with bare hands as they can get contaminated while working with microbes.
  • Ensure that you wipe the box clean with a disinfectant after use.
  • Avoid contact with the box’s outer surface with bare hands. Cleanse your hands thoroughly before taking out gloves from the box.

Gloves should be dried and stored correctly inside a glove test tube holder when not in use. It should never be left exposed inside the glove box as it may contaminate. Be sure to store extra pairs of gloves in a dry, sterile container.               

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