When to choose Nitrile, Latex or Vinyl Gloves
Every year, SafeWork NSW records more than 1,500 workplace injuries related to poor chemical handling. In many cases, failure to assess the risks and wear appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) caused an injury that could have been avoided.
Disposable gloves should always be on hand when there are chemicals, toxic materials or potentially contagious microbes in the workplace:
- Medical settings
- Food handling and kitchens
- Bars, restaurants and hotels
- Tattoo studios
- Beauty salons and hairdressers
- Automotive workshops
- Gardening and landscaping
- Supermarkets and shopping centres
- Vet clinics
- Aged care and hospice care
- Gyms and fitness centres
So, when you buy disposable gloves, how do you know you’re getting the best protection for your employees? Materials matter, and a good rule of thumb is to purchase disposable gloves from a local medical supply company.
Let’s look at gloves in more detail.
How gloves protect your hands
Disposable gloves don’t just stop your hands from getting dirty or wet. They offer a protective barrier to prevent chemical burns and skin irritation. When working with chemicals, gloves are a surprisingly simple measure to reduce preventable injuries.
As an added benefit, gloves shield the wearer and people around them from microbial cross-contamination. In the middle of a pandemic, it’s hard not to overstate the importance of medical grade PPE even if you don’t work in a medical setting.
Provided, of course, you’re reaching for the right gloves.
Choosing the right gloves
Latex has been the golden child of gloves for nearly half a century. Sterile latex gloves act as a barrier against a wide range of chemicals, including commercial cleaning products, alcohols and biohazards. They’re comfortable, flexible and affordable, making them popular in medical and cosmetic workplaces where the wearer needs mobility and low-level chemical resistance.
However, the rising prevalence of latex allergies has motivated medical glove makers to offer high-quality latex alternatives like Nitrile and Vinyl gloves.
Nitrile disposable gloves arguably offer superior protection than latex without risking an allergic reaction. They are usually powder-free, latex-free and slightly thicker, which guards against puncture and abrasion.
Importantly, nitrile gloves also provide better chemical protection than latex or vinyl. They are thicker and more robust, meaning they act as a shield against corrosive chemicals. Hydrocarbons, petroleum solvents and oil-based chemicals will degrade latex but not nitrile, making nitrile disposable gloves the preferred choice in automotive workshops, chemical plants, factories, tattoo studios, hair salons and anywhere else you might encounter harsh chemicals.
On the lighter side, vinyl gloves made from PVC film are lightweight, inexpensive, and 100% latex-free. As a result, vinyl gloves are most commonly used as a hygiene measure, while nitrile falls into the PPE category.
For example, food-grade vinyl gloves are perfect for food handling and light cleaning because the thinner material offers greater flexibility and tactility.
Where to buy Medicom gloves in Sydney: High-quality, Affordable Medical Supplies
AP Direct Sales is the leading Australian supplier of Medicom gloves, one of the most trusted names in disposable gloves. Our extensive range of disposable gloves, including nitrile, latex, vinyl, is available for purchase through our website.