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How Does the Nitrile, Latex, and Vinyl Gloves Differ From Each Other?

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How Does the Nitrile, Latex, and Vinyl Gloves Differ From Each Other?

Disposable gloves are a must-have item in any healthcare setting. Not only do they protect healthcare providers and patients from potentially dangerous microbes, but they help set precedents for hygiene and care throughout the industry. While this should go without saying, you may be surprised to learn that not all disposable gloves are created equal.

Certain products are better suited for different medical environments due to material and design choices. If you order the wrong type of glove for your practice, you could be wasting resources and increasing the risk of punctures, tears and rips.

Disposable gloves are usually made of one of three materials: nitrile, latex or vinyl.In this blog, we'll look at what distinguishes these gloves and offer advice on which environments each type is best suited for.

 

Latex Gloves

In the 1980s and 1990s, latex gloves were recommended for protection against bloodborne pathogens such as HIV. However, as they have become more popular, there have been more cases of allergic reactions. This has led to an increased demand for latex-free disposable glove alternatives, such as nitrile and vinyl. For those who are not allergic, latex gloves are comfortable, relatively cost effective and highly tactile sensitive.

Because of their high levels of flexibility, protection, and comfort, disposable latex gloves are appropriate for most medical environments – as long as latex allergies are not an issue.

 

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves rose to prominence as a leading latex substitute in the 1990s. While disposable nitrile gloves are not as elastic or flexible as latex gloves, they are far more durable and chemically resistant. As such, these gloves are the best choice for personnel who must work with potentially hazardous and corrosive chemicals. They are also ideal for most medical environments because they are extremely puncture resistant and eliminate the risk of allergic reactions to latex.

 

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl gloves are made of PVC. The main advantage of vinyl disposable gloves is that they are inexpensive to manufacture. That said, they are not as durable as latex and nitrile, and they offer limited protection against chemical or biomedical exposure. When vinyl gloves are stretched or bent, the individual molecules separate and the integrity of the protective barrier is compromised. As noted by Health and Safety International, vinyl gloves also raise red flags in terms of environmental impact.

Vinyl gloves are commonly used in non-hazardous and low-infection environments due to their low cost and low protection levels.

Understanding these key differences will help you make the right decision when selecting new examination gloves for your organization's unique healthcare environment. Superfirt® offers a wide range of disposable nitrile and latex gloves to meet a variety of uses and needs. To learn more about these gloves and how they can help, please contact us.

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