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What Are Nitrile Gloves Used For?
Disposable gloves have been around for decades, but in recent times even non-professionals have taken an interest. COVID's rampage across the globe has made the need to have quality gloves to keep you and your patients safe even more apparent.
So you've been surfing the web looking for the best cost-effective glove to use when you come across nitrile gloves. But what are nitrile gloves used for?
Other than protecting people with latex allergies, these protective gloves provide a higher layer of defense against harsh chemicals and most solvents.
Keep reading to find out more about their uses, their manufacturing process, and why you should use them.
What Are Nitrile Gloves Used For?
In the past, a majority of industries that use gloves preferred latex gloves. This is due to it being recommended as the recommended glove to protect medical professionals from pathogens such as HIV.
Latex gloves were once the rock stars of the glove world. This was because of their high flexibility, comfort, and protection.
However, it wasn't 100% perfect, and it wasn't for 100% of the population. After its widespread use, a high number of allergic reactions to the latex rose. So manufacturers began producing nitrile gloves in response.
At first, nitrile gloves were stiffer and not as comfortable, but they have been closing the gap with recent advancements in their manufacturing process.
Gloves are an obvious necessity in any scientific setting. When you work with harsh chemicals or are at risk of infection of a bloodborne pathogen, it only makes sense that the gloves you use have a long shelf life.
Nitrile gloves typically have a five-year shelf life compared to the three years that latex gloves have. The whole point of using gloves is to protect yourself and others.
So why would you risk using latex gloves that have a shorter shelf life and degrade quicker when exposed to the environment?
Latex gloves are becoming obsolete due to either preference or force. So what are nitrile gloves used for? Soon, everything requiring the use of disposable gloves.
California joined states like Ohio, Arizona, and Hawaii in banning the use of latex gloves in the food service industry. How soon is it until the ban spills over into other sectors?
Why Should I Care?
If you work in an industry that requires the use of gloves and other protective equipment, you should always make sure you or your customers aren't allergic to them.
In the U.S., where approximately one in six people suffer from allergies, it's a precaution that's worth the investment.
But why do allergies matter when it comes to the type of gloves you use?
We're glad you asked.
As you are probably already aware, different gloves in the market are available for people to use. And although it's rare, a group of people in the U.S. can have severe reactions to latex gloves.
Only one percent of the population suffers from latex allergies, but is it worth the risk if you're a nurse or a tattoo artist?
Even though the numbers rest at one percent, it has increased because of its widespread exposure. The highest number of allergic reactions have been in children who suffer from spina bifida.
Avoiding harming children should be the priority, not choosing to use latex because it's comfortable. Allergic reactions have the potential to be triggered through a variety of methods.
These include simply touching a product with latex, inhaling the particles, or ingesting food that's been prepared with latex gloves.
Let's assume that you don't work with people directly but with chemicals. Nitrile gloves are an ideal choice because of their durability and resistance to hazardous and corrosive chemicals compared to their counterparts.
Nitrile gloves come with a good reputation and for a good reason.
For example, when used in a chemical-rich environment such as a laboratory, they're evaluated on three criteria. The first involves the amount of time it takes for a substance to break through, signs of degradation, and permeation rates.
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How Are They Made?
It should be noted that while latex gloves use natural rubber, nitrile gloves use synthetic material.
The rubber in nitrile gloves is a copolymer. The process involves bonding butadiene and acrylonitrile - each providing a different benefit.
The first molecule, butadiene, gives the gloves a stronger resistance to tears and punctures. At the same time, the acrylonitrile increases its resistance to chemicals.
Manufacturing plants use a hand-shaped ceramic piece of equipment to mass-produce hand coverings.
They first run the equipment through a cleaning solution every run to remove any remaining residue. After it dries, a combination of calcium nitrate and calcium carbonate coats the equipment to help harden the synthetic materials.
The glove comes into formation as they dry under high temperatures.
If you've ever used plastic gloves when cooking in the kitchen, you know the struggles of trying to get it on. Nitrile gloves combat this problem by undergoing polymer coating or chlorination.
In the polymer coating process, a layer of polymer is spread along its surface. When it's chlorinated, it's exposed to chlorine to give the glove a firmer feel and a slicker surface.
As it continues to evolve, this manufacturing process is one of many reasons why professionals are switching over from latex to nitrile gloves.
Protect Yourself With Nitrile Gloves
So, what are nitrile gloves used for?
Anywhere and everywhere, people use latex or vinyl gloves.
The reduction of causing an allergic reaction to latex, comfortable fit, resistance to friction, longer shelf life, and having three times more puncture resistance than latex gloves give nitrile gloves more than enough reason to be used.
Whether you're looking for black, orange, or even blue nitrile gloves, we've got you covered. Check out our selection, or get in contact with us if you have any questions!