Introduction. In 1986 and 1995, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued guidelines for the handling of chemotherapeutic agents. Natural rubber latex gloves are recommended for all levels of handling these drugs; these gloves provide both pro tection to the health care worker and a high degree of manual dexterity in performing tasks requiring fine motor skills. However, many health care workers experience allergic reactions to natural rubber latex, with symptoms ranging from minor skin irritation to systemic anaphylaxis; the latter is a serious life-threat ening condition. Therefore, it is extremely important that alternative glove materials be found that offer protection against biological and chemical agents and also afford health care workers ease of use and fit.