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A Guide To Nitrile And Latex Gloves

Nitrile and latex are two of the most popularly used materials in lightweight PPE gloves. Nitrile and latex gloves are used in a wide range of industries for different purposes, protecting against a number of risks, including chemical exposure, while still preserving dexterity and sensitivity.

What’s the difference between nitrile and latex gloves?


Nitrile and latex gloves are often used for many of the same tasks. However, there are some key differences between the two. Nitrile gloves are produced using a nitrile synthetic rubber, whereas latex gloves are made using natural rubber. One of the main problems with latex gloves is that many people suffer from latex allergies, so you may wish to choose nitrile gloves to protect your staff from allergic reactions.


What are unsupported gloves?


The majority of nitrile and latex gloves are referred to as unsupported gloves. This means that during production, a porcelain hand form is dipped directly into the nitrile or latex compound. The hand form is then retrieved and left to dry, before the dried nitrile or rubber is stripped away, resulting in the unsupported glove. Supported gloves are made using a similar process. However, a knitted or woven supporting cloth liner is dipped into the compound, which then supports the glove and offers added strength to the finished product.


Nitrile and latex gloves in the workplace


Latex and nitrile gloves share a number of useful attributes, including chemical and puncture resistance, high dexterity and sensitivity. They are ideal for use in a wide range of industries where protection from hazards such as chemicals is required. Examples of industries they might be used in include healthcare, research and development, and food production.


Regulations for Protective Gloves


At Protec Direct, all of our personal protection equipment adheres to the required European Standards. The relevant standards for nitrile and latex gloves are as follows:


  • EN 420 – This defines the requirements which are necessary in the production and sale of protective gloves, taking into consideration things like construction of the glove, whether it is fit for purpose, its safety, and the accurate sizing of the glove according to common European sizes.
  • - EN 374This standard is specific to protective gloves against chemicals and microorganisms. It focuses on the terminology and performance requirements of the gloves, as well as their resistance to penetration or permeation by chemicals.


Employer responsibilities


Employers must follow regulations when their staff engage in tasks that put them at risk, which means providing equipment such as protective gloves when staff are handling dangerous substances. Regulations which must be adhered to include:


  • - Personal Protective Equipment Regulations (2002) – Employers have the duty to provide, and ensure use of, PPE which is needed to protect users against health and safety risks at work.
  • - Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (2002) – Employers must protect their workers by supplying the correct PPE against risk from hazardous substances - for example, cleaning chemicals and waste products.


Browse our selection of nitrile and latex unsupported gloves today, or take a look at our full range of PPE gloves to find more specialist products, including cut resistant gloves and heat resistant gloves.


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