The amount of endotoxin on surgical gloves was investigated by the limulus chromogenic substrate method. Heavy endotoxin contamination was observed on the outside of certain surgical gloves sold in Sweden. Given an endotoxin absorption of 10% to the patients, one of the types of gloves studied would cause fever, chills, headache and muscle pain. The amount of endotoxin on the gloves could be minimized by rinsing in endotoxin-free water. We conclude that the manufacturing process of latex gloves should be checked microbiologically for Gram-negative bacteria before sterilization. Alternatively, the amount of endotoxin should be checked on the product by the limulus ameobocyte lysate test before release.