Christchurch-founded company, Eagle Protect, is challenging the disposable glove industry by bringing transparency to its supply chains through the launch of “Delta Zero”, the multi-layered proprietary glove quality testing program.
As the world’s only B Corp certified company in the sector, Eagle Protect is on a mission to provide Kiwis and those across the globe with access to high-quality disposable gloves which are safe, durable and free of contamination.
The global industry’s supply chains are plagued with malpractice such as reject quality, counterfeit and already-used disposable gloves being repackaged and sold to end-users as brand new, all of which can often lead to breakdowns in infection and hygiene control.
Eagle Protect’s five-year microbial analysis study revealed the widespread risk of contamination within the disposable glove industry, with independent lab testing uncovering 50% of new and unused gloves analysed had human faecal indicators.
To combat these issues Eagle Protect is establishing the global industry standard for compliance, providing a method for ensuring that vulnerable industries, including food handling and healthcare sectors, have access to clean gloves, free of harmful toxins and contaminants.
“In the effort to mitigate glove contamination risks to multiple industries and glove users we’ve spent the last few years refining our Delta Zero verification process,” said Steve Ardagh, CEO and co-founder of Eagle Protect. “It’s a proprietary, multi-layered, five-point testing process that ensures Eagle gloves strictly adhere to the industry’s highest level of safety and performance.”
Though most of the general public remains unaware, New Zealand relies on the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for the quality assurance of food handling gloves. However, there are significant limitations within the FDA’s current food glove compliance requirements.
The FDA’s own code for imported gloves (FDA Title 21, Part 177) does not specifically require them to be intact, clean, or sanitary, nor are they subject to routine testing upon arrival.
Furthermore, current testing and reporting methods for disposable gloves imported into the United States (and countries that rely on those standards such as New Zealand) carry no expiry date, making it difficult to draw comparisons against previous testing.
This loophole opens the door for manufacturers to alter raw materials, composition, and even their own quality assurance standards – greatly enhancing the possibility of mislabeled and fraudulent products from unscrupulous industry suppliers.
Now featured prominently on a growing range of the company’s nitrile glove packaging, Eagle Protect’s Delta Zero badge certifies that their products have undergone third-party laboratory testing, passing a stringent set of standards that guarantees adherence to the highest level of consistency, safety, and performance.
The certification includes a five-factor safety and performance verification process, including third-party lab testing to ensure quality raw materials, and the absence of unsafe chemicals, toxins, and microbial contaminants that pose health and safety risks to glove wearers and to food and medical industries.
The lack of compliance standards, commonly referred to as the “Glove Safety Gap”, is an issue that Eagle Protect felt necessary to address head-on. Knowing that the general public and glove users alike expect disposable gloves to prevent cross-contamination, not be implicated in, the company responded with direct action.
Eagle Protect adheres to a strict supplier code of conduct and has B Corp certification, which encourages independent third-party auditing and follows a single-source of manufacturing model.
Through a recent partnership with Rfider, Eagle also added supply chain traceability for its product lines.