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Disposable Gloves in Baseball Stadiums

December 12, 2016

The Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game took place July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Most viewers tuned in for a chance to watch the best players team up and compete against each other. This year, the lineup included Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros and Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers as starting pitchers as well as Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates up to bat. A lot of drama played out on the field, but what would the baseball experience be without hot dogs and peanuts, not to mention a properly groomed playing field? All of these activities require the right protective gear. Here are some of the aspects of stadium upkeep that require disposable gloves:

Concession stands
Where do fans go to buy their peanuts and Cracker Jacks? At the concession stand, of course! From popcorn to ice cream sold in tiny plastic ball caps, disposable gloves abound in concession stands. To avoid contamination, workers need disposable gloves, preferably ones that are easy to don and doff. When switching between tasks or even between customers, food service workers must always change their gloves. The right choice for these employees would be poly or vinyl gloves. Loose-fitting poly gloves are perfect in most circumstances, but in cases where greater dexterity is needed, closer-fitting vinyl gloves come in handy.

"A lot of work goes into preparing the stadium for a game."

Groundskeepers
Most of the time, fans only see groundskeepers quickly resetting the field during the seventh inning stretch, but a lot of tender loving care goes into maintaining that field when players and spectators are absent. Most fields are still made of grass rather than AstroTurf, which means landscapers need to take care of it on a day-to-day basis. To keep a fresh green appearance, groundskeepers apply pesticides and other chemicals that could irritate or damage hands of workers. Nitrile gloves provide a protective barrier against chemicals and are still strong enough to protect from other irritants. In other situations, like removing thorny plants from the field, groundskeepers want a more heavy-duty work glove, like nitrile or latex dipped gloves.

Maintenance and cleanup
Once the crowds are gone, it is the staff's duty to get rid of the peanut shells and plastic cups to make way for the next group of fans to fill the bleachers. According to data from Business Insider, the average MLB ballpark is 2.49 acres, or more than 100,000 square feet, with plenty of nooks and crannies workers need to look over. All in all, cleaning up a stadium is hard work, and it is not only the seats that need attention. Janitorial staff also need to attend to bathrooms and hallways, while concession staff scrub and sanitize their areas for the night. All of these activities require gloves of varying thicknesses.

"Cleaning requires gloves of varying thicknesses."

Janitorial staff use harmful chemicals in the line of duty. Glass and metal cleaners that include hydrofluoric acid, nitrilotriacetate and phosphoric acid could cause burns or irritation if staff do not use a protective barrier. Bleach is also corrosive to the skin.

Vinyl gloves are a good option for janitorial staff because they are relatively low cost but still generally provide enough chemical resistance. Vinyl gloves protect hands against hydrofluoric, phosphoric and 10 percent concentrated nitric acids. Nitrile gloves provide even greater chemical resistance and are less likely to tear.

Disposable gloves might not be in the starting lineup, but the game is a lot more fun with their support. These gloves help carry out the tasks needed to keep the field in good condition and provide the amenities that make the game more enjoyable for spectators.

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