PPE News

What are powder free nitrile gloves?

Especially in recent months, personal protective equipment has become a very fast growing industry, and huge volumes of protective gloves are produced and consumed on a daily basis. While latex gloves are essentially an industry standard and are used in thousands of hospitals every day, there is an increasing case of latex allergies, which means many people have allergic reactions to latex gloves and they are not suitable for any environment. Meanwhile, nitrile gloves go through a more refined, complex manufacturing process which ensures they are free from the latex proteins which cause these reactions. 

However, nitrile gloves can still be unsuitable for some and in occasional cases they cause allergic reactions, somewhat similar to those caused by latex gloves. This means that in order to provide personal protective equipment that is more widely usable and safe, better and safer manufacturing processes for these gloves are being developed. The latest version of nitrile gloves is called powder free, and it involves a more complicated and time consuming production process. This is why powder free nitrile gloves often cost significantly more than normal nitrile gloves, and especially more than normal latex gloves. However, since they are more widely usable and do not cause any irritation or allergic reactions, they have become very popular. 

A good gauge for the quality of a protective glove is its “cleanness”. This factor involves how many varieties of chemicals it contains and which proteins it is made from which could cause allergic reaction. For example, latex gloves are not especially clean gloves, although they do actually rank a bit higher than many alternative types of gloves. Latex gloves go through a fairly fast production process so many chemicals and proteins are still left in from the rubber tree material.

Meanwhile, powder free nitrile gloves cling better to the skin and are much more tolerable by human flesh. They are not seen as foreign chemicals by the skin’s pain receptors and it’s much more unlikely that an allergic reaction will be caused, because the vast majority of the harmful protein content has been removed in the production process. Powder free nitrile gloves are also more durable and flexible, meaning they are fantastic option for chemical, first aid or medical environments, where it’s important for gloves to be strong and elastic.

Lastly, powder-free nitrile gloves are also “cleaner” according to that scale we mentioned, and they are also more resistant and protective against harmful microbes that could cause damage if they get through the gloves. They’re more likely to repel microbes from clinging to the surface of the nitrile material, meaning powder-free nitrile gloves stay sanitized and more sterile for far longer than normal nitrile gloves or latex gloves.

Nitrile gloves may be more expensive than latex, but they’re by far a better option. You can browse our extensive range of nitrile glove products and personal protective equipment here.