If you’re in the market for disposable gloves, you likely will come across three main types: nitrile, latex, and vinyl. Originally, latex stole the show in terms of popularity, but a variety of causes have driven the rise in alternative materials. But just what are the differences between these kinds of gloves, and does the material affect their usage? Let’s dive into the details and see.
Designed as an alternative to potentially allergy-inducing latex, nitrile gloves are made of more durable material. This makes them slightly less flexible and easy to work with than latex, but increases the protection they offer. Nitrile gloves are often used in medical environments and in cleaning jobs that could put the cleaner in contact with hazardous materials. Unlike latex gloves, they provide excellent protection against punctures or tears.
In our online shop, Sani-Chem offers a variety of nitrile glove products, including our Short-Sleeved Unlined Nitrile Glove package. These gloves are resistant to acids, petroleum products, and many abrasive solvents.
The original big kahuna of disposable gloves, latex rose to popularity in the late 20th century by being recommended for protection against HIV. Useful against this and other bloodborne pathogens, latex gloves are often seen in medical environments or in professional cleaners’ janitorial arsenal. Latex can be synthetic, but it is based on compounds secreted by the rubber tree.
Sani-Chem’s online shop also offers latex gloves. The Boardwalk General Purpose powdered variety, for example, are designed to keep the wearer’s hands nimble while protecting against contamination. This makes them perfect for food contact situations like restaurants or other food service businesses.
Made of petroleum-based PVC, vinyl gloves were developed for people who have latex allergies. While still in use, there is some evidence that they may cause environmental and even reproductive harm, according to Health and Safety International. Additionally, they offer slightly less protection than the other options. Unlike latex or nitrile, stretching vinyl gloves causes the molecules to separate from each other, losing some integrity and potentially compromising the wearer to hazards.
Still, you might need vinyl gloves if you have a serious latex allergy. Our store provides a variety of these gloves, like Boardwalk’s unpowdered version, so you’ll never have to go without the gloves you need.