No disposable protective glove offers the exact same level of protection.
In this dangerous public health age when superb hand hygiene and protection is essential, healthcare, industrial and food service workers can’t trust their hands and patients’ and customers’ health to just any disposable glove. All workers, no matter their industry or working environment, need reliable gloves to protect patients, customers, coworkers and guests from exposure to potentially dangerous microbes, including arguably the most dangerous virus on the planet: Novel Coronavirus.
When deciding between latex, nitrile and vinyl gloves … it can be a little confusing trying to determine which type of glove is the ideal and best choice for your hands, health and safety. Let’s take an up-close look at the attributes and benefits of each type of glove.
A long-time trusted go-to protective glove of the medical industry, Latex gloves are natural material, made out of rubber. The primary reason people choose alternates to latex is because many people suffer from latex allergies. When allergy is not a concern, latex does have a slight advantage with comfort and dexterity over nitrile gloves.
Fit comfortably like a second skin
Have a high level of touch sensitivity
Are good for wearing for an extended amount of time
Work well for high-risk situations involving infectious material
Are very cost-effective
Are lightly powdered, making it easier to put on
Are very elastic and strong
Constructed from a synthetic rubber, Nitrile gloves are an ideal option where latex allegories are a concern. Known as “medical grade” gloves, Nitrile gloves are the unquestioned superior glove when it comes to puncture resistance. Before gloves can be marketed to hospitals and medical institutions, they must undergo a series of tests conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure their durability.
Perfectly suited for most medical environments
Are exceptionally puncture resistant
Have a high level of sensitivity
Mold to your hand for a great fit
Are good for wearing an extended amount of time
Ideal choice for high-risk situations involving infectious material, hazardous and corrosive chemicals
Boast a long shelf life
Are available in blue or black to help identify if the glove has been punctured
Are also available in biodegradable styles
Vinyl gloves are a popular choice for the food industry and situations where high levels of durability and protection are less of a priority. Vinyl gloves are composed of PVC, a petroleum-based film. While they may be less durable, they are the less expensive option. Vinyl gloves’ main weaknesses are that they can be easily structurally compromised or torn when stretched and have a negative environmental impact.
Have a looser fit
Are good for short-term, low-risk tasks
Most economic option
Have anti-static properties
Are best for use with non-hazardous materials
Are lightly powdered to make it easier to put on
As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, make certain you stay on guard. Make sure the protective glove you pick is the right fit and match for the work you do and the offers the level of protection you need for yourself and the people, patients and customers you work with, help and serve.