How to Choose the Right Type of Disposable Glove

  • What Are Nitrile Gloves?

    Nitrile gloves are a disposable, effective and inexpensive form of hand protection for workers across a wide range of industries. The word nitrile is short for acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber. Unlike latex gloves, which are made with natural rubber, nitrile rubber gloves are synthetic and latex-free. This means nitrile gloves are a dependable PPE alternative for anyone with a latex allergy.

    To produce these synthetic rubber gloves, the rubber from rubber trees must first be transformed into latex rubber before being reprocessed. Once the rubber has been manufactured into latex, the monomers acrylonitrile and butadiene are bonded together to form the nitrile compound material. This extra step of processing removes all latex proteins, making nitrile gloves reliably latex-free.

    The resulting nitrile gloves are durable as well as resistant to both punctures and chemicals. While manufacturing disposable nitrile rubber gloves used to be an expensive process, modern technological advancements have led to a more cost-effective approach. Nitrile gloves are now equally as affordable as regular latex gloves. Due to the affordability, accessibility and low allergy rating of nitrile gloves, many people choose them over latex gloves.

    Nitrile rubber gloves are available in a variety of colors, sizes and thicknesses, making them suitable for an array of applications. Nitrile gloves are also unisex and ambidextrous so workers don’t have to waste time finding matching sets, and workplaces don’t need to worry about keeping numerous styles in stock.

    How to Choose the Right Type of Disposable Glove

    Selecting the right type of disposable glove for your workplace depends on identifying the hazardous substances you are most likely to encounter. You will need a disposable glove that delivers adequate protection from these materials while providing the flexibility and comfort you need to perform your task well, all for a good value.

    The first step in deciding which disposable glove is right for you is to determine the hazards you will need protection from. Consider the following factors:

    • Types of chemicals: The more corrosive the chemicals you’re working with are, the higher the level of chemical-resistance and chemical degradation-resistance your gloves need to have.
    • Temperature extremes: For extreme temperatures, make sure your gloves offer heat and flame protection.
    • Physical hazards, such as sharps or piercing objects: When dealing with physical hazards, you need gloves with cut resistance and puncture resistance.
    • Toxicity: Choose gloves with a low permeation rate for handling toxic materials.
    • The infectious potential of biological materials: Wearing thicker gloves to manipulate biological materials can minimize your risk of infection.

    Next, you will need to determine whether you will have incidental or extended contact with the materials. Disposable, surgical-type gloves are ideal for incidental contact applications. Nitrile gloves are preferable to latex gloves because they have a higher chemical resistance and a lower tendency to rip when punctured. Additionally, wearing nitrile gloves accommodates any potential latex allergies.

    On the other hand, extended use situations call for more substantial gloves. When working with highly toxic materials or substances that may be absorbed through the skin, wear a thicker glove, such as norfoil gloves. Placing a tight nitrile glove over a norfoil glove can help the wearer regain some dexterity.