Aren’t all disposable exam gloves the same? Absolutely not. There are important distinctions to be made when making the comparison between nitrile vs latex gloves.
Nitrile vs Latex Gloves:
- Manufactured out of natural latex—a soft, flexible plant-based rubber
- Used when dexterity and feel are important
- Often lightly powdered in starch, making them easier to put on
The downside of latex:
- Unfortunately, the all-natural proteins in latex gloves, as well as the powders, can cause severe allergic reactions, even anaphylactic shock. Latex allergies are becoming increasingly common, and healthcare workers can sometimes develop a latex allergy through frequent use.
- Cannot withstand exposure to chemicals, oils, and solvents
- The hypoallergenic choice. No rubber or powder here to cause allergic reactions, and the incidence rate of nitrile rubber allergy is extremely low
- Are still easy to handle directly on removal from the box despite not being packed in powder
- The ideal choice in emergency situations when the allergy status of a patient or user is unknown
- Extremely durable and puncture resistant
- More resilient material that can withstand exposure to chemicals, oils, and solvents
The downside of nitrile:
- Not as soft as latex gloves; less easy to wear
- Reduced tactility when dealing with applications that require fine movements and dexterity.
A few things important to consider when comparing nitrile vs latex gloves:
- How important is sensitivity to touch?
- Will the gloves be used in emergency scenarios when severe allergies could be a concern?
- Will the gloves be exposed to chemicals or solvents that could break natural latex down?