When it comes to disposable gloves, they are all pretty much the same. Right? Not so fast! Not all use situations are the same, nor are all hand protection products.
Disposable gloves not only have to fit your hand well, they also have to fit the task being performed. Some tasks may require a high degree of tactile sensitivity while others may require resistance to abrasives or particular chemicals. Still others may require special features for better gripping of small objects. There are various types of gloves for different applications.
Here are some of the things to consider when looking for the right glove for your particular task.
Latex is a popular choice in both medical and industrial settings because of its flexibility and superior fit to the hand. It can withstand high heat and is resistant to most caustic substances and detergents. Although natural rubber latex (NRL) gloves offer superior comfort and dexterity, many people are allergic to latex proteins. Latex sensitivity is so widespread that some hospitals no longer allow the use of latex gloves in their facility. In addition, a cornstarch powder had long been utilized as a lubricant to aid in putting on latex gloves, but was suspected of infecting surgical wounds as well as causing allergic reactions to patients and healthcare providers. Consequently, the FDA banned the use of powdered medical gloves in December 2016, which took effect the next month.
Nitrile gloves are an alternative to latex. They are less elastic than natural rubber latex but are significantly more durable and chemical resistant. Nitrile gloves are exceptionally puncture resistant; however, they tend to shred easily once torn.
Vinyl gloves are also a suitable alternative to latex when working with non-hazardous materials. They are less durable than latex and do not offer as much chemical protection. Vinyl gloves generally lack tensile strength, resulting in a glove with a loose fit.
When choosing a disposable glove, it is important to consider how it will be used. There are two major categories of disposable gloves: medical grade and industrial grade, or general purpose. Before they can be approved for medical use, gloves are tested for leak and puncture resistance plus stretchability. They must be better than the 1.5% maximum fail rate as recommended by the FDA in order to meet the requirement for medical grade and then be able to be labeled as surgical or examination gloves.Industrial grade gloves may exceed that established fail rate and are suitable for general purpose applications (e.g. janitorial tasks, sanitation work, non-medical laboratory tasks). They do not come under the jurisdiction of the FDA.
Powdered or Non-Powdered
Medical grade gloves, surgical or examination, cannot be powdered. Only industrial grade, general purpose, gloves can be powdered. The powder, generally a cornstarch powder, acts as a lubricant to help with donning the latex gloves. Powder absorbs excess moisture and makes gloves easier to don and doff on wet or dry hands. However, it can also aerosolize latex allergens and cause sneezing, itchy eyes, or wheezing. Powdered gloves are also problematic because the powder can stick to hands, clothing and other surfaces once the gloves are removed. Powder-free gloves are a cleaner option that will not leave any residue. Latex and nitrile gloves are typically chlorinated to make them easier to don and doff without powder.
Size and Fit
Size impacts comfort and dexterity. Loose-fitting gloves may be baggy and are more likely to slip off and increase the likelihood of microbial contamination. On the other hand, tight gloves can restrict dexterity, resulting in discomfort and hand fatigue.
Owing to the growing popularity of powder-free gloves, chlorination and polymer coating are finishing methods that effectively improve donning and doffing. In addition to making the glove surface more slippery, chlorination significantly reduces the allergen content in latex gloves.
Texture improves grip in both wet and dry conditions. Some gloves are fully textured while others are only textured on the fingertips.
Color is often a matter of preference; however, it can be used to distinguish between glove types. In the food industry, brightly colored gloves are used so that they can easily be detected in food if the glove rips or tears.
When choosing a disposable glove, it is important to consider the size, fit, and use. It is also important to consider possible skin sensitivities to glove materials and chemical additives.
No matter the size or nature of the task at hand, we are sure that you will be able to find the right glove that best fits your needs in our Ventyv™ Menagerie. Click here for a quick introduction to our line of hand protection products. You can also contact us here or call us at 1.888.4Ventyv .Read More