Nitrile Gloves

Why are there multiple types of nitrile gloves?

Nitrile gloves are used all around the world in various different applications. After the popular, affordable and easy to manufacture latex gloves, nitrile gloves are about the second most popular choice in hand protection for medical, chemical and first aid practices. Although they come at a slightly higher cost than latex gloves, and may not have such remarkable bulk discounts like their counterparts do, nitrile gloves provide much more resistance, a tighter fit, and stronger protection, thanks to the refined rubber they are manufactured from. Practically every hospital around the world uses nitrile gloves in some form, but believe it or not, there are actually multiple different kinds of nitrile gloves!

Nitrile gloves come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours, and each one is adapted to its purposes. For example, an auto mechanic working in a car shop prefers something that can keep the dirt, grime and oil away from his hands, whereas in a hospital it is imperative that the gloves cannot easily be torn by sharp apparatus – like scalpels – or rip, allowing harmful microbes in, where they can cause damage to the glove wearer. This is effectively why nitrile gloves are so different. 

Nitrile gloves are popular because unlike latex they cause far fewer allergic reactions and the highly refined rubber material they are made out of is not as irritating as latex. They are also comfortable and cling to the hand for longer durations of the time. In medical applications, any slack in a glove can pose a problem. If it frustrates the wearer or causes them to be less careful or cautious, it can have real implications. Thus, nitrile gloves are designed to fit almost perfectly so these issues do not arise.

Medical nitrile gloves, such as those used in first aid kits onboard ambulances, or in surgery rooms, must fit tightly to the hand and resist pulling and stretching. The nitrile material allows for massively increased elasticity over latex gloves, but at the same time you cannot guarantee that they won’t rip. In an ambulance or first aid scenario, for instance, this is bad. The glove wearer will have to replace the gloves, which may not even be available to start with, and it also takes crucial seconds to put on new gloves. This wasted time can put the casualty’s life in danger or cut into the operating time – which is bad news.

Therefore, hospitals order various sizes and shapes of nitrile gloves so they can be picked perfectly, and so that there is a reduced chance of any slack causing rips or annoyance. Nitrile gloves can be bought in small orders or in bulk at various sizes and widths, meaning they cling to the hand perfectly and work excellently in virtually any emergency or operating scenario.

When dealing with chemicals, it can also be important to distinguish if any droplets or residue has touched your hand. For this purpose, nitrile gloves are made in several different colours. Other than the classic blue and transparent options, red and black are popular, especially in auto mechanic shops where you need to be able to distinguish your hand from a mechanical part when in low light conditions.