Benefits of Nitrile gloves over Latex Gloves

The Benefits of Nitrile Gloves Over Latex Gloves

In many industries today, protecting the skin is of paramount importance. Depending upon the profession in question, the reasons may be to prevent the spread of disease, protect skin from caustic chemicals or to protect sensitive equipment from the natural oils and bacteria that normally coat the hands. Due to the need for gloves to be replaced on a regular basis, along with concerns about communicable diseases, disposable gloves are generally preferred. Among doctors, dentists, various technical professions and lab researchers, latex and nitrile gloves tend to be the preference for first aid supplies. Both gloves offer a degree of flexibility that is difficult to match, as well as various degrees of sensitivity, durability and protection.


Latex Gloves

Latex gloves are manufactured from natural latex rubber, a non-vulcanised rubber produced by many plants as a protection against herbivorous insects. The unique properties of latex allow manufacturers to produce a glove that fits almost like a second skin, providing protection from caustic substances and preventing the spread of communicable diseases. Latex gloves are often favoured by budget conscious institutions, such as hospitals and research facilities, due to their relatively low cost and their extremely high durability. Latex gloves are susceptible to being punctured or cut by sharp objects but highly resistant to tearing and puncturing from blunt objects. This makes them ideal for use as first aid supplies in the medical industry, various mechanical and technical industries and for research purposes, where sterility and elasticity are highly important.

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves are manufactured using a nitrile butadiene rubber, often referred to as NBR. This polymer produces a glove that is extremely resistant to oils and acids, making it an ideal glove for any industry where the skin must be protected from such substances but the wearer needs a certain level of tactile information to perform a task.

What makes Nitrile Gloves a Better choice?

Due to the overall low cost and superior durability, latex gloves often are the foremost choice for various institutions. Unfortunately, those two considerations, while important, are not the only things consumers need to keep in mind when selecting protective gloves. Many people are severely allergic to latex and will have an anaphylactic reaction to any contact with latex gloves or the powder that is used to coat them. Even more people are mildly allergic to latex, coming up with a rash within minutes of exposure. The severity of the allergy varies greatly among consumers but it raises some serious issues for medical practitioners. Some varieties of latex gloves are coated in corn starch which, while harmless to most, can also cause severe respiratory problems and contact reactions for both patients and practitioners.

Nitrile does not have the same durability as latex but the difference between the two is negligible for most medical applications. They provide better protection from caustic substances and have no risk of invoking an allergic reaction. For medical professionals, nitrile is often the superior choice for these reasons alone. For researchers and professionals working with caustic substances, oils and various acids, nitrile gloves provide the most stable protection and actually have a higher endurance than latex gloves.

Ultimately, the choice between latex and nitrile will come down to the specific needs of the industry in question. For those in the medical industry, however, nitrile provides the same protections for professional and patient from communicable illnesses while also protecting both from unsuspected allergic reactions to latex.

http://www.aps.anl.gov/Safety_and_Training/User_Safety/gloveselection.html

http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.110308.120307