The answer to “what type of disposable gloves are the best” depends on what you intend to use the gloves for.
Since disposable gloves come in a variety of types and uses, you need to evaluate if the material of the glove is right for you and if it is suitable for the task or intended use before purchasing disposable gloves. We explain this below.
What is the difference between nitrile, latex, and vinyl gloves?
Nitrile, latex and vinyl are the three materials that are used to make disposable gloves.
NITRILE GLOVES are made from synthetic materials like rubber copolymer.
What are the advantages of Nitrile Gloves?
The main advantage of Nitrile Gloves is that they have the highest resistance to punctures and chemical exposure. Also, these gloves are highly flexible and allergy-free.
What are the disadvantages of Nitrile Gloves?
The two main disadvantages of Nitrile Gloves are that they are more costly than latex or vinyl and are non-biodegradable.
LATEX GLOVES are disposable gloves made from natural rubber (from the rubber tree). They are the first type of disposable gloves that were invented in 1894 by a man named William Stewart Halsted.
What are the advantages of Latex Gloves?
The big advantage of latex gloves is that they are the most comfortable glove to wear compared to vinyl and nitrile and they offer a good tactile feel and dexterity for the wearer. Latex gloves are the preferred choice for surgeons and medical professionals as they can perform medical examinations easier and latex provides the most reliable protection against infection and contamination from bacteria and viruses. Finally, Latex Gloves are made from natural materials, so they are biodegradable.
What are the disadvantages of Latex Gloves?
The main disadvantage of Latex Gloves is that many people have latex allergies and will develop an allergic reaction. Also, these gloves do not provide protection against petroleum-based products and solvents so they would not be suitable in an industry working with chemicals. Finally, Latex Gloves are prone to puncture easily, similar to a party balloon so they should be used carefully without overstretching.
VINYL GLOVES are the earliest synthetic disposable gloves made from PVC or polyvinyl chloride. They are very cheap to manufacture and are used for short-term tasks because prolonged wear can pose a risk of carcinogens entering the body.
What are the advantages of Vinyl Gloves?
Vinyl Gloves are allergy-free and cheap to buy. They come lightly coated in powder such as cornstarch, making them easy to put on and take off again.
What are the disadvantages of Vinyl Gloves?
The disadvantages of Vinyl Gloves are that they are less durable and hence easier to puncture than nitrile or latex. One in seven vinyl glove brands have been found to be harmful to the environment as they contain phthalates and BPA. You should check the manufacturer’s information before buying.
What are the Uses for Disposable Gloves?
Disposable gloves protect a person’s hands from a wide variety of hazards. These hazards can range
from biohazards to handling toxic substances.
- Household: Disposable vinyl gloves can be used in a variety of household chores from taking out the trash to cleaning.
- Healthcare: Disposable nitrile and latex gloves have many uses in the healthcare sector. The most common use is to protect both medical staff and other patients from biohazards. Many medical professionals also use disposable gloves to handle sensitive equipment.
- Food Preparation/Hospitality: Professionals in the Food Preparation/Hospitality sectors commonly use vinyl disposable gloves. The main usage of disposable gloves in this industry is to prevent the contamination of food. There are many hazards in the kitchen that could contaminate food and make guests sick. These professionals also use disposable nitrile gloves to handle raw foods with could contain a number of harmful diseases.
- Sanitation Services: Professionals in these occupations use nitrile disposable gloves for the use of sanitising areas with cleaning chemicals that can irritate the skin or cause worse health effects.
- Agriculture/Farming: Those of you that work in Agriculture/Farming also use disposable latex or nitrile gloves to protect workers who handle pesticides. Another use of disposable gloves in this sector is the handling of dairy farming. Professionals who work in dairy are increasingly using disposable gloves to both handle animals and prevent the spread of bacteria such as brucellosis. Finally, disposable gloves can be used to handle toxic or contaminated soil.
- Heavy Industry/Mechanical Repair: Surprisingly to some, but many heavy industries such as aerospace and automotive also have a use for latex or nitrile disposable gloves. Professionals in these sectors often work with chemicals that are toxic to humans such as antiknock agents. These chemicals can be absorbed by the skin and cause several adverse health effects such as nausea.
Should we be wearing disposable gloves in addition to masks to prevent COVID-19?
It is not required to wear disposable gloves to prevent COVID-19 as they create a false sense of protection and can still spread the disease from one surface to another. You should only wear disposable gloves when cleaning areas exposed to COVID-19. Scientists and health experts advise that frequent hand washing is best to protect yourself from Coronavirus.
Can Disposable Gloves be Reused?
No, disposable gloves cannot be reused. Disposable gloves are designed for single use. Attempts to
reuse results in contamination and loss of integrity of the glove material.
Can Disposable Gloves be Recycled?
Nitrile gloves can be recycled through Spontex the disposable gloves recycling scheme. You can also check your local authority for companies that specialize in disposable glove recycling.
So What are the best disposable gloves to buy?
Best for Budget
Vinyl Gloves are best in terms of price.
Best for Allergy sufferers
Both nitrile and vinyl are best if you are allergic to latex.
Best for High Risk Tasks
Nitrile and Latex will provide the best protection if you work in a high-risk chemical or biohazard environment.
Best for Sustainability
Latex Gloves are the most sustainable since they are biodegradable. If you have a latex allergy, nitrile gloves are best for sustainability as they can be effectively recycled.