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Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2001 Jul;10(3):119-21.

Latex laboratory-gloves: an unexpected pitfall in amphibian toxicity assays with tadpoles.

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  • 1Toxicology Section, Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural University and Research Centre (WUR), Tuinlaan 5, NL-6703 HE Wageningen, The Netherlands.


This study examined the unexpected toxic effects of protective latex laboratory gloves on developing amphibians. Mortality after exposure to rinsing water from the outside of the gloves was observed in Xenopus laevis and Rana temporaria, with R. temporaria being more sensitive. This phenomenon was further confirmed using the microtiter-version of the Microtox-Assay, an in vitro assay for general toxicity. Latex gloves from the specific brand used in the experiment, in which the toxicity to tadpoles was observed for the first time, showed the highest toxicity of all materials and brands tested. Due to the high responsiveness of amphibian tadpoles to latex-glove contaminated rinsing water, special care is necessary when cleaning aquaria during toxicological experiments with amphibians as otherwise results may be biased.

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