OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.

February 14, 1995

Mr. A. Robert Bogosian, President
Global Biotechnologies
P.O. Box 6207
Cape Elizabeth, Maine 04107

Dear Mr. Bogosian:

This is in response to your letter of November 7, 1994, requesting the official policy regarding the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030, and the use of skin care products under latex gloves. Specifically you were interested in the use of mineral oil and other petroleum containing products and how these compounds affect the integrity of latex gloves.

During the rulemaking process, evidence was presented by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that latex surgical gloves showed significant deterioration when the gloves were exposed to petroleum-based lubricants. Based on this information, it is OSHA's position that if latex gloves are used, employees shall not apply petroleum-based, including mineral oil-based, skin care products.

We hope that this response addresses your concerns. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 219-8036.


Ruth McCully, Director
Office of Health Compliance Assistance