ANN/THE STAR – It might sound like an easy way to stop germs from spreading, but wearing disposable gloves isn’t very sensible in many everyday scenarios, infectious disease experts say.
While they’re indispensable to keep infections from spreading in hospitals or in labs, they don’t make much sense when it comes to household tasks like cooking.
Disposable gloves are a common sight in some kitchens, especially when handling raw meats like chicken.
And yet, pathogens can be transmitted on the surfaces of disposable gloves just as much as on direct skin, explained head of the department for infectious diseases at Berlin’s Helios Kliniken in Germany Dr Irit Nachtigall.
In addition, bacteria adhere even better to plastics than to human skin, allowing them to accumulate on the gloves over a longer period of time and be carried from the raw chicken you’re preparing for dinner to the lettuce leaves.
The idea behind disposable gloves is to exchange them after every contact, said Dr Nachtigall.
When working with food or handling everyday tasks, they’re not necessary, she said.
Instead, you should make sure to wash your hands regularly and properly, or use disinfectant.
That’s also better for your skin, by the way, as plastic gloves prevent your skin from breathing well, which causes your hands to sweat.
The moisture in the gloves can damage the skin in the long run and lead to skin irritations and inflammations.