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

  • Published source details Gutleb A.C., Bronkhorst M., Vandenberg J.H.J. & Murk A.J. (2001) Latex laboratory-gloves: an unexpected pitfall in amphibians toxicity assays with tadpoles. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, 10, 119-121.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use gloves to handle amphibians

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Use gloves to handle amphibians

    A small, replicated study in a laboratory in Austria (Gutleb et al. 2001) found that mortality of African clawed frog Xenopus laevis and common frog Rana temporaria tadpoles increased with increasing concentrations of latex and vinyl glove contaminated water. All African clawed frog tadpoles died within 12 hours when exposed to dilutions of 1:350 or less and 50% died in dilutions of 1:425 (i.e. one glove in 128 litres). Surviving tadpoles showed no symptoms. All common frog tadpoles died in dilutions of 1:600 or less (i.e. one glove in 195 litres). African clawed frog tadpoles survived in vinyl glove dilutions lower than 1:4, but showed 100% mortality in dilutions of 1:3 or less. The latex gloves used in the experiment were the most toxic of the materials (latex, vinyl, nitril) and brands tested. Ten latex and vinyl gloves were soaked in water for 24 hours at 20 °C. Solutions were further diluted to a maximum of 1:900 using tap water. Ten African clawed frog and 10 common frog tadpoles were placed in each solution (water volume 700 ml). Mortality was scored after 12 hours of exposure.


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