Campaigns for appropriate glove use

Quebec campaign - Les gants, pas tout le temps!

Manufactured from synthetic materials such as latex, nitrile or vinyl, single-use gloves have a financial cost as well as an environmental and health impact (1).

The carbon impact of a single nitrile glove is equivalent to almost 4 times that of a 20-second handwash, and 10 times that of 3mL of hydroalcoholic solution (1-4).

564 boxes of 100 gloves emit around 2 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, equivalent to a round-trip flight from Paris to Montreal (5).

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, their use has greatly increased, particularly in situations where their use is not recommended and where hand washing would be more appropriate. Hand washing remains the safest hygienic measure, and is already mandatory after glove removal. Porter des inutilement des gants peut procurer un faux sentiment de sécurité, ce qui constitue un risque pour les patients et le personnel en augmentant le risque de transmission des infections.

Launched in fall 2023 in collaboration with the Réseau d’Action pour la Santé Durable du Québec (RASDQ), the Association québécoise des médecins pour l’environnement (AQME), Synergie Santé Environnement (SSE) and CASCADES, and with the support of the Association des médecins d’urgence du Québec (AMUQ) and Choisir avec soin, the “Les Gants, pas tout le temps” campaign aims to raise awareness among healthcare personnel of the appropriate use of gloves, as proposed by the WHO in the information sheet on glove use.

Videos

Royal College of Nursing video

Association des médecins d’urgences du Québec video: Coming soon

Resources from other provinces

British Columbia

Vancouver Coastal Health

The Infection Prevention and Control department, in collaboration with the Planetary Health and People Safety group, has launched the “Gloves Aren’t Magic” campaign at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) to promote good hand hygiene and the appropriate use of gloves. The campaign aims to educate staff on the four times to perform hand hygiene and to limit the excessive use of gloves, emphasizing that gloves are not a substitute for hand hygiene. Developed by the VCH communications team and informed by UBC’s behavioral research team, the campaign began with an article in VCHOne in June, followed by poster distribution over the summer months. Face-to-face engagement with discussion and education sessions is scheduled for autumn. The impact of the campaign on reducing glove waste and improving hand hygiene practices will be assessed through audits, glove consumption and staff surveys.  

Island Health

Since May 1, 2023, Island Health has launched the “Gloves Off!” campaign to create a noticeable and measurable decrease in inappropriate glove use through a paradigm shift in organizational culture:

International resources

Sources

  1. Rizan C, Reed M, Bhutta MF. Environmental impact of personal protective equipment distributed for use by health and social care services in England in the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. J R Soc Med [Internet]. 1 mai 2021 [cité 23 août 2023];114(5):250‑63. Disponible sur: https://doi.org/10.1177/01410768211001583
  1. Jeffries SD, Tu Z, Xu H, Harutyunyan R, Hemmerling TM. Use of hand sanitiser as a potential substitution for nonsterile gloves in reducing carbon emissions. British Journal of Anaesthesia [Internet]. 1 juill 2023 [cité 22 août 2023];131(1):e22‑5. Available: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0007091223001733
  1. EcovaMed. EcovaMed publishes a comparative study on the carbon footprint of nitrile gloves depending on where they are produced, and the correlation with its environmental Label of Origin. 2022.
  1. The Environmental Impact of Hand Sanitizer Ethanol [Internet]. [cité 23 août 2023]. Disponible sur: https://mediahub.unl.edu/media/16495
  1. Chitnis M, Sorrell S, Druckman A, Firth S K and Jackson T 2013 Turning lights into flights: estimating direct and indirect rebound effects for UK households Energy Policy 55 234–50

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