How to Choose Appropriate Disposable Gloves?

nitrile gloves

Introduce the Disposable Gloves

Disposable gloves are one of the first lines of defense against common workplace injuries and illnesses. Different uses require different types of disposable gloves. There are two major uses of disposable gloves – medical and general purpose. Both they adhere to FDA standards, but it’s vital that we also understand their differences. Knowing how to choose the right gloves for the right job is the first — and potentially most important — step you can take to avoid hand injuries.

When gloves are used in a medical setting, such as during a doctor’s examination or during surgery, they are known as medical gloves. Medical gloves are disposable gloves that are used to prevent cross-contamination between caregivers and patients during medical examinations and procedures. Medical gloves are made of a variety of polymers, such as latex, non-sterile nitrile exam gloves made of nitrile, polyvinyl chloride, and neoprene. They are either sold unpowered or with corn starch powder to lubricate the gloves and make them simpler to put on the hands. Today we are going to learn how to choose the right gloves for your job.

Latex Gloves

Latex gloves are made of a biodegradable material made from the latex produced by rubber trees. Despite the development of synthetic materials, it’s still the most popular glove material because gloves are highly elastic and resilient, and form a snug fit. They are great for medical professionals, beauty industry workers, surgeons and others who need a high level of touch sensitivity, as well as advocates of green practices due to its biodegradable features. They prevent the spread of infectious agents and help to contain contamination to a specified area.

The primary function of latex gloves is to protect hands against bloodborne pathogens, biohazards and chemicals. They are very tactile, so some professionals in high-precision careers, such as surgeons, swear by latex. These gloves are produced from rubber tree sap and have been a staple in the medical field and other industries for decades.

Limitations of Latex Gloves:These gloves are not resistant to many chemicals and they do not provide as much puncture resistance as nitrile gloves. They do not offer adequate protection around sharp objects, so they do not prevent puncture wounds. They are also not the best choice for handling organic solvents. It can escape the wearer’s notice when a latex glove sustains a small puncture or tear, so extra care must be taken around sharp objects. Also, some individuals have severe allergies to latex and will need to be provided with an alternative, like nitrile.

Applicable occupation: When you need to handle biological materials or water-based solutions, latex gloves are an excellent choice. That is because latex gloves are both sturdy and comfortable. As a result, they are used in many settings — dental, childcare and eldercare, food service, beauty and even in some automotive and manufacturing situations.

Nitrile Gloves

Unlike latex, which is made from natural rubber, nitrile (nitrile butadiene rubber), is produced from synthetic rubber. It is stronger and more puncture-resistant than latex, and often, it is more economical. Additionally, using nitrile reduces the risk of an allergic reaction.

Often referred to as “medical-grade,” nitrile gloves are made of synthetic rubber. They are latex free gloves, produced through a rigorous process that eliminates the proteins, suitable for those with latex allergies, since it does not contain similar proteins that could cause a reaction. They are impervious to water, which makes them excellent for washing up, while they are also resistant to punctures. This makes them perfect for when you need to handle sharp tools, chemicals or biological hazards.

Nitrile gloves are available in numerous sizes and colors. They come in a range of thicknesses, and they can be used for general and medical purposes. Disposable nitrile gloves usually range in thickness from 4 mils to 8 mils, with the majority of heavy-duty industrial and laboratory grade nitrile gloves ranging from 6 to 8 mils thick. The thicker the nitrile glove is the higher level of protection. They are extremely versatile disposable gloves. Heavy-duty nitrile gloves provide a longer permeation time when working with chemicals and more tear resistance than thinner light-duty or medical grade gloves.

They are superior to other types when it comes to puncture and chemical resistance, as well as protection from viruses. Many consider disposable nitrile gloves to be the highest quality substitute for latex gloves. They are the strongest option in terms of durability and long shelf life, while significantly reducing any chance of allergies that come from latex gloves.

These disposable gloves also offer protection against a variety of substances and conditions, including biological contaminants like fungus. When it comes to handling glass, electronics, paper and other fragile items, nitrile gloves can help keep your hands safe.

Applicable occupation: mechanics, medical professionals, tattooists, people with allergies to latex, laboratory workers, and food handlers.

About Gloves’ Thickness

Whether you choose a nitrile glove or latex gloves, you must consider your requirement first. Hence, a 3-mil glove may be lighter than the four mils or five mils, but in practice, they feel just as sturdy—just sure they are the correct thickness for your use. The same could go for the four mils versus the five mils—you don’t want a glove that is too heavy for your specific process.

For example, thin latex gloves, such as those worn by surgeons, allow for greater dexterity, flexibility, and sense of touch. However, they are not durable enough to withstand the heavy use required in certain occupations, such as manufacturing which calls for thicker nitrile gloves.

Gloves become more costly as they become thicker, as this process requires more material and manpower. Meanwhile, resistance from chemical hazards varies with thickness. The thicker the glove, the stronger the resistance against chemical hazards, but dexterity is reduced. Many users rip disposable glove not because the nitrile glove is too thin, but because they are trying to force his or her hand into a glove that is too small.

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl gloves are made of vinyl—a synthetic, protein-free, non-biodegradable material containing polyvinyl chloride and plasticizers. Plasticizers are added to PVC to make gloves flexible and comfortable. They are one of the most affordable types of gloves available, making them a popular choice among healthcare professionals, food handlers, and other people in heavily-gloved fields. They are also often loose-fitting and easy to change.

For those who have had problems with allergies to latex or synthetic accelerators in other gloves, vinyl gloves is another good option. These latex free gloves do not contain accelerators or latex which can cause types I and type IV allergies.

While vinyl gloves are usually less expensive than latex and nitrile, they offer limited protection against chemicals and disease. In fact, you should avoid using these gloves when handling fatty foods. The oils may leach out the softening agents into the food, causing the glove to become brittle. As a result of these limitations, these gloves are often used in non-hazardous settings where the risk of infection is low. They’re thinner than latex, and some people who are allergic to latex can use them easily.

For situations that do not involve hazardous chemicals or pathogens, such as food service, housekeeping and certain medical procedures, vinyl gloves are a cost-effective option. These gloves are also a good choice for those who want to avoid contact with allergens. If you need a simple, light-duty glove, vinyl is a top pick for many professionals. While vinyl gloves are softer and have a texture and feel that some people prefer, they are less durable than nitrile gloves. Therefore, vinyl gloves should not be used when handling infectious materials. They also offer less breathability than nitrile and latex and can cause a wearer’s hands to perspire after extended use

In the next article we’ll learn about other types of disposable gloves.

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