Lethal effects of latex, nitrile, and vinyl gloves on tadpoles

  • Published source details Cashins S.D., Alford R.A. & Skerrati L.F. (2008) Lethal effects of latex, nitrile, and vinyl gloves on tadpoles. Herpetological Review, 39, 298-301.


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 replicated, controlled study in the laboratory and in the field in Australia (Cashins, Alford & Skerrati 2008) found that unrinsed latex or nitrile gloves caused death of green-eyed tree frog Litoria genimaculata and cane toad Bufo marinus tadpoles and unrinsed vinyl gloves death of waterfall frogs Litoria nannotis. Direct or indirect contact with unrinsed latex gloves caused 72% mortality of green-eyed tree frog tadpoles (n = 36). Unrinsed latex or nitrile gloves caused 10–100% mortality of non-native cane toad tadpoles (n = 10). Rapid, localized tissue damage was observed at the point of contact. In the laboratory, no adverse effects were seen 24 hours after handling with unrinsed vinyl gloves in green-eyed tree frogs (n = 23), cane toads (n = 20) or waterfall frogs Litoria nannotis (n = 32). However, in the field 40% of waterfall frogs handled with unrinsed gloves died within one hour. The remainder and those handled with rinsed vinyl gloves showed no effects. Cane toad tadpoles handled with unrinsed vinyl gloves or bare hands (n = 10–20) showed no adverse effects. In the laboratory, tadpoles were handled for 30–90 seconds with unrinsed latex or vinyl gloves, and nitrile or no gloves for cane toads. In the field, 30 waterfall frog tadpoles were handled with unrinsed or rinsed vinyl gloves or bare hands.


Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust