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What To Know Before You Buy Nitrile Gloves | Exam Gloves
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What To Know Before You Buy Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves are made from a synthetic polymer that does not contain any rubber proteins, making them a superb choice for anyone allergic to typical latex examination gloves.  Because of their unique makeup, these gloves are also resistant against friction and are often used in applications where static electricity is an issue.  Because of their frictionless ability, they’re also easier to slide on than latex gloves.  In addition, these advanced medical gloves are ideal for use in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, where handling acids, alkalis and certain drugs (such as those used in chemotherapy) can be dangerous if they contact the skin.

Nitrile Exam Gloves, just like their counterparts, latex and vinyl gloves are assigned different grades by the Food and Drug Administration depending on their quality, thickness and formula or application.  Medical grade gloves are used in surgical procedures and examinations that will put the wearer in contact with bodily fluids.  These are the strongest, highest quality grade of gloves available.  The second grade is the “high risk” category which is used by paramedics and EMTs.  Then there is the utility category which is still tested to meet certain basic standards, but is not recommended for medical use or in any application where absolute and complete protection is required.  Utility grade gloves still provide a highly effective barrier against the skin and are recommended for work such as in the automotive industry.

Compared to latex and vinyl, nitrile exam gloves are more expensive and are therefore typically restricted to certain categories within the hospital settings such as pharmacology, oncology, phlebotomy, ER and critical and non-critical care units.   Their superior strength, durability and decreased likelihood of causing an allergic reaction make these flexible gloves an ideal choice for anyone who is allergic to the typical latex glove.  They are also dusted with cornstarch powder (non powdered versions are also available) to make gripping and using instruments and devices easier for the wearer.

Another unique feature of nitrile gloves that typically isn’t seen in any other application besides the deftness required for surgical gloves is their ability to conform to the shape of the hand by body heat alone.  This makes them much more comfortable and true to form.  While being protected from toxins and fluids can make some types of gloves thicker, these types of medical gloves offer enhanced sensitivity to make it easy to perform common procedures such as checking a patient’s pulse or looking for other abnormalities on the body.   Nitrile is also highly durable and resistant to rips, tears and holes.  Because of their strong contoured fit to the hand, it’s also easy to spot even the smallest puncture hole in a nitrile glove.

Last but not least, when buying nitrile gloves, it’s best to keep them stored in a cool, dry place.  Excess exposure to direct sunlight will weaken the synthetic polymer material and may increase the risk that the gloves will tear more easily or sooner than they ordinarily would.

Jul 24, 2010 / Exam Glove


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