Complete Buyers Guide To Nitrile Gloves

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Nitrile disposable gloves can be used for a multitude of tasks, from wearing while treating patients in hospital to completing messy jobs on vehicles in a garage. Each type of disposable glove is available in differing levels of thickness, depending on what they are required for. Thicker gloves are best when working with harsh chemicals as they offer the most protection from abrasive or dangerous substances, while thinner gloves are ideal for those who need flexibility and dexterity while carrying out tasks. Light duty gloves can also be used for a wide range of everyday tasks, from cleaning to food preparation.

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.

What is nirile?

Nitrile is a synthetic rubber, made up of butadiene and acrylonitrile. It has resistance to oil, chemicals and fuel, as well as being able to withstand temperatures of -40°C to 108°C without melting. Nitrile generally has more resistance to punctures than latex, which is one of the reasons why it is an ideal choice of material for gloves.

Nitrile gloves are now the most common glove used within a huge variety of industries worldwide.

Why are nitrile gloves so popular?

They generally tend to be preferred over latex as they are suitable for those who suffer from latex allergies.

As nitrile gloves are created using manmade materials, 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 have a greater resistance to punctures than other gloves and offer greater 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. Gloves made using nitrile also make completing tasks much easier, as they mould to the shape of your hand and offer higher levels of sensitivity and flexibility.

Why are nitrile gloves ideal for allergy sufferers?

As latex gloves contain proteins which may cause allergic reactions and hypersensitivity, 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.

As nitrile gloves contain no natural rubber latex, they are ideal for type I latex allergy sufferers.

Some nitrile gloves are also manufactured without the use of accelerators. Accelerator free nitrile gloves are ideal for type IV allergy suffers (Allergic Contact Dermatitis).

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.

Medical grade, also referred to as ‘Exam' grade, is the best nitrile glove for those working in medical professions where they require protection from contact with blood borne pathogens or contaminants in the environment. Dental practices, hospitals, doctor surgeries and laboratories all opt for this grade of glove as they have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they provide the protection those wearing them require.

Industrial grade nitrile gloves are usually worn by those working with chemicals, 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.

Are nitrile gloves recyclable?

Nitrile exam gloves are not recyclable, but the packaging usually is. However, some nitrile gloves brands do offer a recycling service, so look out for this when making your purchase. If not, ensure you dispose of your gloves in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

Are Nitrile gloves food safe?

Yes, many nitrile powder free gloves are ideal for food handling, and as they are more resistant to oils than some other type of gloves, so should last longer. Nitrile gloves are available in bright colours and therefore are ideal for food preparation, as you can easily see any ripped or torn glove pieces in the food itself. The non-powdered kind are recommended, as there is no chance of contamination from powder when removing gloves.

All medical grade nitrile gloves meet EC 1935/2004 and European Regulation 10/2011.

What Size Should I Use?

Nitrile Disposable Gloves are available in size XS through 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.

Our helpful size guide can offer you more guidance on choosing which size is right for you.

Does colour matter?

Nitrile gloves come in a variety of colours which can help further improve health and safety factors.

There are no set rules as to which colour should be used for which industry however different occupations tend to favour different colours. Blue is the most common colour of nitrile glove used, however black is the preferred colour for the automotive and tattoo industries as it hides the appearance of oil, dirt and blood. For those that work in a clinical environment white nitrile is a great alternative, whereas pink is often used by those working in the beauty industry.

Using two colours together can also help prevent the risk of contamination. By wearing a bright glove under a blue or white (double donning) you can easily detect rips or tears that occur during sterile procedures and replace with a fresh pair.

Should you opt for powdered gloves or powder free?

The powder in powdered gloves absorbs moisture making them easier to remove. This makes powdered gloves a popular choice for those working within industries where gloves need to be taken on and off regularly.However, the powder can also come with its problems. It can increase the risk of allergic reactions (dermatitis)and are less suitable in sterile, cleanroom or food handling environments due to contamination from powder residues.

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. Disposable grade nitrile gloves will usually be around 0.06mm-0.08mm in thickness and can provide splash resistance to chemicals. Standard nitrile gloves generally offer the user increased sensitivity and precision as well as providing strength and comfort. They are idea for reducing hand fatigue when wearing gloves for prolonged periods. Thicker grade nitrile is also available for when the wearer requires extra protection, strength and durability. Thicker grade nitrile will last longer and provide better protection when handling chemicals and fluids.

Whilst the thicker re-usable industrial nitrile glove will provide a longer contact time resistance, the thinner gloves generally provide more dexterity for the user 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.

Are nitrile gloves conductive?

Nitrile powder free gloves are not recommended for use when dealing with live electrics. This is because if the gloves were to puncture, the wearer would be exposed to the shock. This could cause a serious injury. However, they can be worn when dealing with low amounts of ESD (electrostatic discharge).

Are nitrile gloves acid resistant?

Nitrile gloves have good resistance to acids and to many chemicals but it is always advisable to check their suitability before using for any of these types of applications. For improved protection it is recommended you choose an industrial grade glove over medical. It's important to be very cautious when choosing personal protection equipment (PPE) for work with chemicals such as acids, as insufficient protection could lead to injury.

Are nitrile gloves anti-static?

Some nitrile gloves have anti-static features, to ensure that those wearing them do not build up static charge while working with ESD (electrostatic discharge) but the thinner nitrile products do not meet the requirements set out in the EN1149 series of standards.

Are nitrile gloves chemical resistant?

Yes, nitrile exam gloves have better chemical resistance in comparison to latex (natural rubber), which is why they are the preferred choice over their latex counterparts in this type of application.

Nitrile has good resistance to gasoline, kerosene and many petroleum solvents as well as ethanol, isobutyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and methanol. However, differing thicknesses will provide varying levels of protection. You can choose from gloves offering splash protection (thinner disposable nitrile) all the way through to full contact protection (thicker reusable nitrile). In all cases, it is advisable to seek expert advice on suitability for any particular application.

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.

All medical grade gloves conform to AQL 1.5 CE Class 1 Medical grade standard and comply with BS EN 455. The EN 455 series of standards refer to the testing that must be carried out on medical gloves, which include such elements s visual defects, force at break strength, and freedom from holes. 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 individual glove product pages.

Brosch Direct offer an extensive range of Nitrile Gloves

Whether you are a healthcare professional or are simply looking for a disposable glove to use for tasks around the home, Brosch Direct stocks an extensive range that provides the right glove for the right task!

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