Gloves are often associated with health practitioners; however, not many people know that there are different types of gloves with numerous applications, both in the medical field and at home. The most common options include nitrile and latex gloves. Due to limited information, you may not know which one you are buying and which is suitable for the intended use.
While both options are ideal for disposable gloves and are classified under personal protection equipment, you need adequate protection from potentially harmful chemicals and microbes. This means you need to make an informed decision when choosing between nitrile gloves and latex gloves. Below is an overview of nitrile and latex gloves and how they compare.
What are Nitrile Gloves?
These gloves are made from a synthetic rubber compound (nitrile), recognized for their tensile strength and durability. Nitrile is made of acrylonitrile and butadiene to increase the chemical resistance of these gloves. They also boast a high tensile strength, meaning low chances of punctures. And even when your gloves tear, they form an easy-to-notice split that can be addressed quickly to minimize contamination.
Its strength and durability make it an ideal choice for multiple applications outside the medical profession. You can use it in the salon or the mechanical and automotive industries when handling chemicals and sharp objects.
Despite the numerous benefits of these gloves across multiple industries, they have a downside. A nitrile glove is relatively tough compared to latex gloves, reducing dexterity and sensitivity. Nevertheless, you can find brands made with touch sensitivity to increase accuracy in high-precision tasks while retaining its protective features.
What are Latex Gloves?
These are probably the most common option, favored for their affordability, flexibility, and touch-sensitive build. Latex gloves are widely used in the medical field for protection against blood-borne pathogens and other chemicals during examinations and in the lab.
Due to their touch-sensitive nature, they are preferred by surgeons performing high-precision and detail-oriented tasks such as dental work and surgery. However, in the last decade, medical supply companies have replaced them with alternative options such as vinyl and nitrile gloves.
This move is supported by the increase in allergic reaction cases reported by users, especially those suffering from latex allergies. Another downside to these gloves is that they offer moderate protection against punctures and tears, increasing the risk of contamination. Its material is also touch-sensitive, meaning a breakage is easily concealed and can go unnoticed, exposing you to harmful chemicals and pathogens.
You should also remember latex gloves offer minimal protection against chemicals such as sulphuric acid and sodium peroxide. This means your skin will likely get damaged when handling corrosive chemicals with these gloves.
Nitrile gloves have the edge over latex gloves due to their versatility, strength, and durability, making them an ideal choice for various applications. The best part is that you can find different models to fit your needs, including medical, automotive, salon, and mechanical applications.