The aim of this study was to investigate the surface variability of 13 powder-free, unlined, and unsupported nitrile rubber gloves using attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FT-IR) spectrophotometry at key wavelengths for analysis of captan contamination. The within-glove, within-lot, and between-lot variability was measured at 740, 1124, 1252, and 1735 cm<sup>−1</sup>, the characteristic captan reflectance minima wavelengths. Three glove brands were assessed after conditioning overnight at relative humidity (RH) values ranging from 2 ± 1 to 87 ± 4% and temperatures ranging from −8.6 ± 0.7 to 59.2 ± 0.9 °C. For all gloves, 1735 cm<sup>−1</sup> provided the lowest background absorbance and greatest potential sensitivity for captan analysis on the outer glove surface: absorbances ranged from 0.0074 ± 0.0005 (Microflex) to 0.0195 ± 0.0024 (SafeSkin); average within-glove coefficients of variation (CV) ranged from 2.7% (Best, range 0.9–5.3%) to 10% (SafeSkin, 1.2–17%); within-glove CVs greater than 10% were for one brand (SafeSkin); within-lot CVs ranged from 2.8% (Best N-Dex) to 28% (SafeSkin Blue); and between-lot variation was statistically significant (<i>p</i> ≤ 0.05) for all but two SafeSkin lots. The RH had variable effects dependent on wavelength, being minimal at 1735, 1252, and 1124 cm<sup>−1</sup> and highest at 3430 cm<sup>−1</sup> (O–H stretch region). There was no significant effect of temperature conditioning. Substantial within-glove, within-lot, and between-lot variability was observed. Thus, surface analysis using ATR-FT-IR must treat glove brands and lots as different. ATR-FT-IR proved to be a useful real-time analytical tool for measuring glove variability, detecting surface humidity effects, and choosing selective and sensitive wavelengths for analysis of nonvolatile surface contaminants.
R. N. Phalen and Shane S. Que Hee, "Variability in Surface Infrared Reflectance of Thirteen Nitrile Rubber Gloves at Key Wavelengths for Analysis of Captan," Appl. Spectrosc. 61, 204-211 (2007)