The Different Types of Disposable Gloves – VizoCare
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The Different Types of Disposable Gloves

The Different Types of Disposable Gloves

Disposable gloves offer protection to workers in many industries. From robust yet inexpensive gloves for food preparation, to highly specialized gloves to protect those working in the chemical or healthcare industries, disposable gloves have many varied applications. There have been many technological advances that made disposable gloves stronger, and these new advances have made them more cost-effective, especially when purchased in bulk.

When to Wear Disposable Gloves

The applications of disposable gloves are very varied. Some of the situations that require using disposable gloves include:

  • When handling chemicals
  • When handling bodily fluids
  • When handling substances that can stain skin
  • When handling delicate items that can be damaged by skin oils
  • When handling unknown or undefined items
  • When handling materials that may case burns, cuts, or abrasions

Types of Disposable Gloves

Disposable gloves are usually made from common materials, but they are engineered to provide adequate protection. The most common types of materials used for disposable gloves today are nitrile, vinyl, latex, and polyethylene.

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile is a synthetic substance, and it is the processed form of natural rubber. After natural rubber undergoes a rigorous process, the natural rubber is transformed into nitrile. Nitrile is safe for people with latex allergies that can be caused by latex gloves, which use natural rubber. Nitrile gloves have endless use because they are waterproof and resistant to punctures. They also protect against contaminants including fungi, pesticides, commercial cleaning products, bacteria, and viruses. Nitrile also provides a barrier for people handling fragile items like electronics, glass, and other materials that could break and cause injury. Nitrile gloves are generally available in industrial grade and medical or surgical grade. They also come in a range of sizes, colors, thicknesses, and textures. They are one of the most versatile disposable gloves available today.

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl is a synthetic substance, made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They are thin, flexible, comfortable, and soft to the touch, and are loose-fitting and easy to put on or take off as compared to nitrile and latex gloves. Vinyl gloves are latex-free and are a superior choice when it comes to people with allergies or sensitive skin. They offer both barrier protection and tactile sensitivity from many common chemicals that may cause injury when coming into skin contact. Vinyl is less elastic than nitrile and latex, giving it a loose fit and a smoother, more comfortable feel. They are suitable for the medical and food industry, as well as janitorial and sanitation, plumbing, factory, and assembly line use, and countless others that require frequent glove changes.

Latex Gloves

Latex gloves are made from natural rubber. They are a popular choice of protective gloves and are widely used in the medical, dental, child care, senior care, food service, food processing, sanitation, automotive, and manufacturing industries. Latex gloves are extremely resistant to tearing, ripping, or puncturing. This is partly due to their tight and clean fit against the hands and fingers, leaving no loose material which may be caught against sharp instruments or objects. Their elasticity makes them comfortable to wear even for long durations. The main reason to choose gloves other than latex is because of latex allergies. When allergy is not a concern, latex has a slight advantage with comfort and dexterity over nitrile and vinyl gloves.

Polyethylene Gloves

Polyethylene is one of the most common and cheaper plastics. It is a plastic with excellent chemical stability and is often used as an insulator for materials that are in contact with food such as bags and foils. Polyethylene, or more commonly called poly or PE gloves, are very thin and made for light-duty tasks. They are economical and are commonly used in the food industry where workers are frequently changing gloves between food preparation tasks. High density polyethylene (HDPE) is stiffer and harder than low density polyethylene and is used for gloves that minimizes cost. Low density Polyethylene (LDPE) is a more flexible material, less rigid and generally used for gloves which require a greater sensitivity.
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