What are the 3 main materials used for disposable gloves?
31 August 2021
Disposable gloves are available to the user in a variety of materials including latex, nitrile and vinyl. In order to make a wise choice, let us demystify the main characteristics of each variety.
The various compositions of disposable gloves
Latex gloves are made from natural rubber extracted from trees, which makes them resistant to water and chemicals such as acetone. Also, they are easy to put on, more comfortable and offer an excellent grip, which makes them ideal for tasks that require great dexterity. On the other hand, users find it difficult to detect holes in this type of glove.
They were the preferred choice for a long time because they were more economical, but they are now less used because of the increase in latex allergies. In fact, latex is an allergen factor that causes dermatitis, itching and swelling. Avoid using latex products as soon as you notice a skin breakout.
To minimize exposure to latex, the user is sometimes compelled to replace latex gloves with nitrile or vinyl gloves.
Made of acrylonitrile butadiene, a synthetic polymer, nitrile gloves are the best substitute for latex gloves. The characteristics of nitrile hold numerous similarities with latex’s properties, minus the allergies.
They are very popular with health care professionals and can be worn for long periods of time. Like latex gloves, they are also easy to put on, offer excellent dexterity and elasticity as well as strong resistance to water and many chemicals. However, they are more expensive than latex and vinyl gloves.
The main characteristics of nitrile gloves are durability and resistance. They are more resistant to puncture, hole detection is more obvious and they are ideal to be used with solvents, oils and greases.
Vinyl gloves are made from synthetic materials, namely polyvinyl chloride and plasticizers. Much less expensive than latex and nitrile, vinyl gloves are undoubtedly the best combination of practicality and cost effectiveness.
Although less problematic than latex gloves in terms of allergies, they offer only minimal protection. Therefore, they should only be used for short-term procedures with a low risk of infection. Thicker and less comfortable, they are not recommended for procedures that require tactile precision. They are also less resistant to chemicals. Nevertheless, because of their versatility, vinyl gloves are good for general use.
In closing, remember that latex, nitrile and vinyl disposable gloves are for single-use only and that the selection of a suitable glove should be based on the procedure as well as the task to be performed. If you have any further questions regarding the different varieties of disposable gloves, please do not hesitate to ask us for advice in order to make the appropriate choice.