Disposable gloves are single-use gloves that are very resistant to chemicals, abrasion and puncture, and they also aim to protect your hands against various contaminants and irritants. The disposable gloves are split into two main categories: medical grade gloves, which are manufactured according to very high standards (and they are safe to use in the medical field) and utility grade gloves, which are mainly used in less demanding industries that do not require as much protection and durability as the medical field (such as the food industry, for example). Medical grade disposable gloves must undergo a series of FDA-approved tests before they reach clinical settings, to check their quality.
Disposable gloves come in handy in many industries: they are widely used in industrial plants, in machine shops, mechanics, medical laboratories, in the pharmaceutical industry, in hospitals, aquaculture, electronics, chemical industry, in the glass manufacturing process, in the kitchen or the food industry and so on.
The disposable gloves are durable and non-toxic, and they are generally considered to be hypoallergenic, although latex gloves do carry a risk for allergies. They are available in both powdered and powder-free form.
An Overview Of Different Types Of Disposable Gloves And Their Features
In a nutshell, there are four main types of disposable gloves: PVC gloves, latex gloves (both examination and surgical ones), nitrile gloves and vinyl gloves.
Latex gloves are the most popular choice in the medical field, given their increased efficiency and great price-quality ratio. They are made from 100% natural rubber latex and they are available in both powdered and non-powdered form, they are highly durable and stretchable and they are designed to resist acids, alkalis and certain types of oils.
Latex gloves are generally safe, non-toxic and harmless, although some people with sensitivity to rubber may experience unpleasant allergic reactions. The disposable latex gloves are sterilized using gamma rays, they are sterile and they come with a smooth external finish and they are available in a wide range of colors and sizes. Also, disposable latex gloves have low protein content and the powdered version ensures fast and easy donning.
PVC exam gloves are known for their fatigue-reducing properties which allows the wearer to use the gloves for hours without experiencing hand fatigue. The PVC gloves are very light weight, durable and flexible and they usually come with dual layers for enhanced protection. These gloves are odorless and they ensure a secure grip. The PVC gloves are available in powdered, non-powdered and non-sterile versions, they are ambidextrous (suitable for both hands) and they come with beaded cuffs that aim to keep the glove in place. The gloves can maintain their properties over the years, provided that they are kept in a moisture-free location away from direct sun light.
Nitrile gloves, on the other hand, prevent infection and contact with a wide array of dangerous substances – they offer increased puncture resistance compared to the above-mentioned types of disposable gloves, they have superior strength and they also come with beaded cuffs for a perfect fit and for preventing roll down. The tactile sensitivity of the wearer is not affected in any way, as the nitrile gloves come with an innovative design that ensures enhanced comfort and secure fit – these gloves are the most popular alternative to latex gloves, as the latter can create allergies.
Nitrile is a hypoallergenic material that is commonly used in the glove manufacturing process, given its numerous benefits. The gloves are made of 100% nitrile, they are usually thicker than regular gloves (thus the increased protection) and they come in all sizes, from small to extra large. Disposable nitrile gloves are intended for single use only.
Last, but not least, vinyl gloves are another popular choice as they have increased stretchability and they are very pleasant to the touch. These gloves are made from synthetically derived polymer material, they are considerably less expensive compared to latex, PVC and nitrile gloves. However, it must be mentioned that vinyl gloves are not as protective, elastic and durable as nitrile or latex, this is why they are usually used in light duty industries such as the food industry, where only basic protection of the hands is required. This is why vinyl gloves are commonly referred to as “utility grade”, which means that they are usually manufactured to less harsh standards than the medical grade gloves.