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The Complete Buyer's Guide to Nitrile Gloves

Jan 24 2017, 17:39 PM

In many industries, nitrile gloves are overtaking their latex counterparts as the front runners for protection in the workplace. They offer a multitude of advantages, namely benefitting those with latex allergies and also being capable of enduring tougher temperatures and conditions. If you are considering making the move to nitrile, then read through this guide to determine if it is right for you…

Click to read The Complete Buyer's Guide to Nitrile Gloves

What are nitrile gloves?

Nitrile gloves are made with a type of synthetic rubber, created with acrylonitrile and butadiene. They are commonly used by those suffering from latex allergies and by a variety of industries, from tattooists to those working in medical professions or even when handling food.

Why are nitrile gloves so popular?

Nitrile gloves are proving popular because they are created using manmade materials and are a great alternative for those who suffer with a latex allergy. Latex free gloves such as nitrile gloves not only protect the wearer from the symptoms of an allergy but also patients or customers if they are exposing them to gloves. They are also a cheaper alternative to latex, because the price of manufacturing is consistent - prices cannot change due to the sudden demand for a natural grown material. Nitrile gloves also offer protection when using sharp implements or equipment or when hands are experiencing regular friction; ideal for those working in the tattoo industry, medical profession or industrial cleaning. They are generally more puncture resistant than regular latex gloves, meaning they offer improved protection while in use. Gloves made using nitrile also make completing tasks much easier, as they mould to the shape of your hand and offer a higher level of sensitivity.

Industrial or medical grade?

Now you understand the benefits that come with choosing nitrile gloves, it’s time to determine which type best fit your needs. Nitrile gloves fall into two grades – industrial and medical. Let’s take a closer look at what each of these mean: Medical: Also referred to as ‘Exam’ grade, this type of nitrile glove is best for those working in medical professions where they require protection from contact with blood borne pathogens or contaminants in the environment. You will notice dental practices, hospitals, doctor surgeries and laboratories opting for this grade of glove, as they have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they provide the protection those wearing them require. Industrial: Usually worn by those working with chemicals, industrial grade gloves are best reserved for workers in the janitorial, food and automotive industries. Industrial grade nitrile gloves can offer differing levels of protection from disposable nitrile (low chemical resistance) to re-usable nitrile gloves that will offer high levels of puncture and chemical resistance. Some nitrile gloves are also anti-static, ideal for those working with machinery or for those working with electronics.

Does colour matter?

Nitrile gloves come in a variety of colours which can help improve health and safety further. Blue is the standard colour for this type of glove but for the automotive industry most will opt for black nitrile gloves that hide the appearance of oil and dirt or white that will show any contamination when handling upholstery Bright colours such as yellow, green or pink are also available and are ideal when working with dangerous contaminants. By wearing two layers of gloves, such as a brightly coloured pair underneath a regular blue pair, you can easily see if any holes or tears have been created while working and ensure you are protected.

What about size?

Gloves are available in a variety of sizes, so before purchasing a full order seek out samples to test first to ensure fit and resistance are up to scratch. Most nitrile gloves are available from an XS size to XL. The right fit is important. Too small and the glove can be stretched excessively causing the material to break or fracture quicker or too large and it may not offer the right protection against chemicals.

Do you require heavy duty gloves or thinner material?

The thickness of your nitrile gloves will make a difference to your ability to carry out tasks. Industrial disposable grade nitrile gloves will usually be around 0.06mm-0.08mm in thicknessand can provide splash resistance to chemicals, whilst the thicker re-usable industrial nitrile glove will provide a longer contact time resistance. However, the thinner the gloves, then generally the more dexterity the user will enjoy making more intricate tasks easier to perform. If you require extra grip while working, then nitrile gloves with raised patterns are a good choice, as they increase grip strength on wet or slippery equipment.

Should you opt for powdered gloves or powder free?

Powdered gloves are a popular choice for those working within industries where gloves need to be taken on and off regularly and also absorbs moisture. However, many prefer the non-powdered designs as they do not leave a residue when removed and can be taken on and off just as easily as their powdered counterparts. Does your industry have a recycling policy in place? Not only are nitrile gloves excellent at reducing impact on the environment, as they are created using a manmade material, they are also hard wearing enough to last longer and reduce the amount of gloves disposed.

What regulations must you meet?

Each industry has set requirements on what its PPE must adhere to, therefore it’s very important you discover what these are and compare them to those listed, for the gloves you are considering. The EN455 series of standards refer to the testing that must be carried out on medical gloves, for example acceptable hole levels and break strength for the glove. Whilst the EN420, EN374, and EN388 series of standards determine the PPE requirements for chemical and mechanical handling. Check carefully to ensure the gloves you choose are compliant, to assist with your choice you will discover a complete breakdown of their features on each product description, on the Brosch Direct website.

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