The exceptional mechanical properties of guayule latex films can be uniquely exploited to address the un-met need for radiation attenuation (RA) medical gloves.
The poor mechanical properties of existing RA gloves have led the Food and Drug Administration to approve them only as personal protective equipment, and health care workers are directed to double glove, i.e. to wear a high performance medical glove in addition to the RA glove. Double-gloving is uncomfortable, expensive and significantly reduces tactile sensation and dexterity due to thickness and slippage.
Guayule latex is softer, stretchier and has stronger polymer-filler interactions than other elastomers and unusually high filler loadings can be attained. The prototype guayule latex RA gloves meets the mechanical performance required by the ASTM surgical (D3577) and examination (D3578) glove standards and the degree of attenuation required by the ASTM radiation attenuation glove standard (D7688).