Backgrounds: One of the most frequent causes of allergic contact dermatitis of occupational origin are rubber additives, which are present in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The most allergenic additives of natural and synthetic gloves are thiurams, carbamates and mercapto group.
Objective: To investigate the state of knowledge about the chemical additives used in the manufacture of synthetic rubber gloves.
Methods: This was a qualitative research study in which professionals working in the manufacture, research, prescription and commercialization of gloves answered an open questionnaire.
Results: 30 individuals were interviewed: 4 researchers in occupational medicine, 5 occupational physicians, 2 occupational safety technicians, a rubber workers' union physician, an occupational safety engineer, a pro duction engineer of rubber gloves, 4 importers of gloves, a manufacturer of gloves, 3 businessmen who sell PPE, 3 salesclerks working in stores that sell PPE, 2 businessmen who own stores that sell products for allergic individuals, and 3 dermatologists.
Conclusion: Knowledge of the chemical composition of rubber gloves is scant. The labeling of gloves, with the description of their chemical composition, would facilitate choosing the best type of glove for each person. This low-cost action to businesses would be a gain from the standpoint of public health, with huge repercussions for users of rubber gloves.