The most frequently asked questions about the latex gloves are;
What are latex gloves & what are latex gloves used for?
So let’s start from the beginning!
What are latex gloves?
The most popular, commonly known glove material LATEX is a bio-degradable material derived from the latex ducts of rubber trees. It is the most elastic, resilient, and form fitting material for the gloves till date.
Latex was first used in manufacturing of gloves in late 1800, and now latex gloves are found being in use in many household, medical, and industrial applications.
Powdered vs. Powder-Free Latex Gloves
There are two types of the latex gloves which are Powdered Latex Gloves and Powder Free Latex Gloves and both of them have different uses.
Powder Latex Gloves
Powder Gloves are powdered from inside which prevent the latex from sticking with your hands so they are easy to put on and off. These gloves prevent the irritation and keep the hands dry from sweat.
Powder Free Latex Gloves
Powder Free Latex Gloves are commonly used in medical as well as food industries as the main thing in these gloves are that they won’t leave detritus or rubble on your hands or the apparatus.
Benefits of Latex Gloves
- Latex offers the most effective protection against bacteria, viruses, and body fluids.
- A great compatibility for dexterity, functionality, and comfort is still associated with latex gloves in medical, auto-repair and food industry applications.
- Latex gloves come in a variety of thickness regarding the durability needed for punctures and tear resistance.
- They are produced in powdered, lightly powdered and powder-free versions depending upon the requirements: the powder inside the gloves is sort of cornstarch, which serves only the purposes of easy slipping on and off the hands, and for the better snug-fit.
- Latex gloves were once the top standard option for disposable examination gloves, but now synthetic ones are also favorites.
- Although latex produces allergy but the allergies are not severe nor do they affect everyone.
- Latex gloves are still a viable choice for the majority of physicians.
Pros & Cons of Latex Gloves
Advantages of Latex Gloves
- One of the greatest advantages of latex gloves is that they are very tactile, thus preferred by the medical officials for sensitive applications like surgery.
- The physical properties of natural rubber latex make these gloves extremely elastic and resistant to tearing while offering protection against a range of hazards.
- Latex has a proven history of usage in the medical field. The gloves are a definite protection from blood borne pathogens, harmful chemicals, and other infectious and contaminated objects.
- Latex gloves provide a snug fit than nitrile and vinyl options. The Latex material does not wrinkle around the fingers allowing them to perform freely.
- Latex gloves are available in different thicknesses according to the tasks provided.
- Latex gloves are manufactured in powdered and powder-free varieties.
- The low-protein formulas are also produced to reduce the possible risk of type 1 latex allergies.
- Then there are medical grade varieties and also food safe varieties.
Disadvantages of Latex Gloves
- The biggest disadvantage of latex gloves is that they can cause skin allergies and reactions.
- Latex offers less chemical protection when handling organic solvents.
- It’s also very hard to detect puncture holes in latex.
- Powdered latex gloves can cause serious health issues due to skin reactions and allergies.
What are the differences between Latex and Nitrile gloves?
Latex Gloves vs. Nitrile gloves
The most commonly asked question on the internet is how to differentiate between latex and nitrile gloves.
Latex and nitrile gloves are equally significant substances in their perspectives. However the difference between them is surely to be understood.
- Latex examination gloves are produced out of natural rubber derived from the rubber trees, which is extremely soft and flexible. Latex gloves are usually considered as second skin; surgical gloves are often made of latex for this reason. They are often lightly powdered also in starch to handle them easily.
- But as the latex gloves are all-natural, the proteins in the material may cause allergies; sometimes severe ones. Fairly common allergies are slight discomfort and rashes. Not only can the rubber present in the gloves but also the powders inside them cause physical irritation.
- Nitrile gloves are produced from synthetic rubbers, so the element of rubber allergy is very low. Nitrile gloves are not packed in powders, still easy to handle.
- Nitrile gloves are an ideal choice in alarming emergency situations when the allergy status of either the patient or the user is not known. They are extremely durable and puncture resistant. Moreover, they can also resist oils, petroleum, solvents, and chemicals, which latex gloves cannot withstand.
- However, nitrile gloves are neither as soft as latex gloves, nor being so easy to wear.
- Nitrile gloves are weaker in strength as compared to latex gloves, but they are superficially used by police officers, security guards, housekeepers, factory workers, and vets.
- Latex gloves on the other hand are still widely used in hospitals by surgeons, doctors and nurses while performing procedures. They, in fact, are used where fine movements of the hands are required.
- Nitrile gloves are slightly more expensive to produce; still they are preferred in situations where the allergy symptoms are unknown.
In short, nitrile and latex gloves each have their own significance, so they must not be confused with each other. While both are being used in medical and industrial areas, using one in place of the other can be a dangerous mistake.
Is latex or nitrile gloves better?
Latex gloves are thin, durable and stretchable and the skin is better protected from sharp objects and harsh chemicals. Hence, latex gloves deal better with biological and water-based materials.
Why do we not use latex gloves in first aid?
Use of Latex Gloves in First Aid
One thing to be noticed always is that non-latex gloves must be used in first-aid emergencies, because managing casualties is itself a risk, so why take more risk by wearing the wrong type of gloves.
Nitrile gloves are the most recommended gloves for contact with the wounded.
Latex powdered gloves are not used sometimes due to the general phenomenon of allergies like asthma and dermatitis, but latex allergy is hardly life-threatening.
First aid gloves are barrier equipment which minimizes the risk of cross- contamination. The main risk for the first-aid responders is body fluids like blood, vomit, urine, and feces; which carry infections and diseases, even if not the deadly ones: HIV or hepatitis. Gloves allow you to work safer.
What if the hands get dry in latex gloves?
Latex gloves may bring dryness to the hands, leading to cuts or rashes. It is always ideal to moisturize them with deep moisturizers like aloe Vera plus vitamin E lotions or Vaseline based creams. It is also advised to wash the hands with cold water, avoid alcohol-based soaps, and also avoid hot dryers to dry the hands.
Why buy latex gloves?
The disposable latex gloves protect workers completely from contamination. Latex gloves are an effective shield for the hands and wrists against certain chemicals, including detergents, alcohols, biohazards such as viruses and bacteria, bodily fluids, abrasive materials, and more.
Minimize risks of being caught into trouble by wearing gloves where possible.
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