How to Choose the Best Disposable Gloves

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There are many disposable gloves on the market, but they are not all created equal. Professionals in demanding fields rely on these products every day, so picking the right one is essential. With a myriad of medical applications, they are vital for protecting people from infectious diseases and help to create a sanitary work environment. There has been a rising demand for gloves in diverse industries, from food preparation to industrial printing and everything in between. And in the last year, the importance of gloves specifically and PPE generally has crystalized. In a previous article, we discussed how to find the right fit for a glove. However, picking the right glove for the job is just as important as the fit. In this article, we’ll discuss what gloves are on the market, the pros and cons of each, and which types are suited to specific tasks.

Glove Types

Nitrile

After being introduced in the 1990s, nitrile gloves have become very popular as the price has steadily dropped over the years. They are made from a synthetic rubber material and offer many advantages over traditional gloves, including being latex-free. As latex allergies have been on the rise, this can be a considerable advantage, especially for medical professionals. They are also extremely tough and puncture resistant. This alone has made nitrile the go-to choice for many medical professionals and workers who handle corrosive or dangerous chemicals. Nitrile gloves also come in colors like black and blue, which make noticing punctures much easier. The major disadvantage of nitrile stems from the thickness of the gloves. Some people feel they have less of a tactile feel with these gloves, which can be an issue for certain industries. They are also more expensive than latex options.  However, with the heightened awareness of protecting healthcare workers and workers and customers in other industries, recent market reports estimate growth of between 14-20% in the nitrile glove market for the next 5-6 years.

Latex

Latex gloves have been the industry standard for decades because they offer a lot of positives. They are more affordable than many options on the market while still offering a high level of protection and toughness for a wide variety of professionals. Many customers prefer the high level of touch with these gloves, especially when dealing with delicate tasks requiring tactile feel. They also generally offer a tighter fit and a high degree of comfort, which is a definite plus when wearing them over a long period. They are made from natural rubber and are biodegradable. As more companies seek to lessen their environmental impact, this can be an essential consideration. The disadvantages are straightforward, one being they aren’t as tough as nitrile. So when handling hazardous chemicals and other substances, the higher level of protection afforded by other options may be the better choice. The main reason they have become less popular is the rising prevalence of latex allergies. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 10% of frontline health care workers have a latex allergy. These allergies have caused the medical industry almost completely to switch over to nitrile gloves.

Vinyl

Vinyl gloves are a popular choice for industries less concerned with punctures and who don’t handle extremely dangerous or contagious materials. Vinyl gloves represent a cost-effective option of disposable gloves. They are made from petroleum and contain no latex, so they avoid any allergic reactions. The disadvantages are they have a looser fit than the other options discussed here and are much more susceptible to punctures. They are very popular in industries like food preparation, where the risks associated with tears or punctures are very low.

Vinyl/Nitrile Blend

A Viny/Nitrile blend is a new type of glove based on vinyl technology. It utilizes PVC paste and Nitrile rubber to produce a disposable glove with the advantages of both compounds. The benefits of this glove are it’s naturally latex-free and suited for medical and industrial uses.  However, even with nitrile rubber in the formulation of the gloves, these gloves tend to be a bit less flexible than natural rubber latex or synthetic nitrile rubber gloves.

Polyethylene

These gloves are from low or high-density polyethylene and have a looser fit. These are food-grade gloves and generally nonmedical grade and better for food preparation and other tasks where contamination is less of a concern. These gloves are very affordable and also are latex-free for anyone with allergies.

If you have any questions regarding which glove might be good for you or your company, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by phone at 1-800-977-7888 or by email at info@bmcprotect.com. We’d love to help you find the right glove for the job.

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