Composition and abundance of particles present on “powder-free” examination gloves

Duncan Pirrie*, Alistair R. Pirrie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Seven widely available brands of powder free nitrile gloves, commonly used in forensic laboratories during the handling of exhibits were examined. Samples were collected from the outer surfaces of the gloves and the particle types present were characterised using automated mineral analysis. Particles less than 10 μm in diameter are abundant on the surface of all of the gloves examined. Although the particles are dominated by common compounds/minerals (e.g. calcite, gypsum, NaCl, Fe oxides/carbonates, Al oxides, quartz, plagioclase, kaolinite) each glove brand analysed has a distinct population of particles present which allows the samples to be differentiated from each other. These particle types may be transferred from the gloves to exhibits during handling. In addition, these distinct populations of particles may be transferred to anyone wearing powder free nitrile gloves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-156
Number of pages9
JournalForensic Science International
Early online date24 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Automated analysis
  • Powder free gloves
  • Trace evidence


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