Date: 25.09.2020 | Shing Yee
Many of you might be searching for gloves supply now. Or even started using gloves more often than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. You are more hygienic concern and you feel safe whenever you have the gloves on.
But there are many misconceptions, or myths that are floating around about the glove’s products.
We think that a fundamental understanding about gloves products is essential for all, whether you are the one who are sourcing for gloves or you are the one that are using gloves in your daily routine.
Not only it is important for decision making stage if you are in a gloves business, but it also helps in spreading the right concepts about rubber gloves in your community next time.
So, we have collected the top 5 misconceptions that we always hear of and explain it from a rubber gloves manufacturer point of view.
Myth #1: Only natural rubber gloves (a.k.a latex gloves) can cause latex allergy.
Myth #2: All nitrile gloves are thin and disposable.
Myth #3: One glove can meet all the needs in household.
Myth #4: Gloves of same thickness offer similar chemical resistance.
Myth #5: Chemical resistant gloves can handle every chemical.
Ever fallen into any of these misconceptions before? 😉
Let us debunk the myths for you!
Let us have a quick explain here:
There are two types of latex allergy related to gloves, which is Type I protein allergy and Type IV chemical allergy.
Type I protein allergy is an immediate type hypersensitive reaction to one or more latex proteins in natural rubber products, this reaction usually occurs within one hour.
Type IV chemical allergy is also known as delayed hypersensitive reaction due to sensitivity to chemicals eg. accelerators used to make latex products.
So, even if you switch to nitrile gloves which do not contain latex protein, don’t forget that nitrile gloves still contain chemicals accelerators (it exist in both natural rubber gloves as well as synthetic rubber gloves) which might have the chance in developing Type IV latex allergy as well!
This is the most common myth and misconception that we as a rubber gloves manufacturer always need to explain.
Nitrile gloves are commonly available in disposable types, being widely used in the industry and medical field to protect against blood, body fluid, liquid, bacteria etc. Other than that, disposable nitrile gloves also provide protection against chemicals.
They are usually very thin and ambidextrous (which means the glove can be wear on the left hand as well as on the right hand).
However, what many people do not know is that:
Nitrile gloves exist in THICK and REUSABLE form as well!
Take our nitrile gloves series as an example, our nitrile gloves range is known as chemical resistant nitrile gloves.
Unlike disposable nitrile gloves that are thin and designed to provide protection against chemicals only for a short period of time (eg. in the event of splash), our chemical resistant nitrile gloves are thicker, ranging from 11mil to 22 mil, meaning it can provide longer lasting protection against chemicals.
They are non-ambidextrous (always come in left hand and right hand) and being sold in a pair.
Since they are thick and sturdy, not only offering good protection against wide range of chemicals, oils, and greases, they can also be reused for many times.
They are the most sought-after product especially in the oil and gas industry, automotive industry, agriculture, printing industry etc.
Just make sure that after every usage, clean the gloves with mild soap, rinse with clean water and airdry the gloves. Store the gloves in a dry place and keep it away from direct sunlight, so that it is good to be reused for the next time.
Just like one size never fits all, one glove will never fit the entire house chores!
You might think that it is just a marketing gimmick that gloves company are trying to sell more gloves by telling you this, but in fact this is the reality.
Try to imagine this:
Would you want to bring the gloves that you just washed the toilet bowl to the kitchen and take care of the kitchen utensils and equipment?
Definitely a NO-NO, right? And I am sure you are familiar with the term “cross-contamination” if you are hygienic concern enough.
And did you ever think about the reason behind of why gloves manufacturer come out with so many choices of gloves color? Merely to suit the color taste of their customers? Or it is just another marketing gimmick?
Well, the main reason behind those colorful gloves is to let users able to identify the gloves according to the usage areas conveniently.
For example, the classic yellow dishwashing gloves for the kitchen, pink color gloves for gardening, and orange color for janitorial cleaning.
This is also a very common practice in the industry, especially for those industry that involved a lot of processes that need to handle with gloves and are highly concern on the hygiene.
Other than the color is different, we have designed them in different thickness to cater the needs as well!
One of the factors that determine the chemical resistance of a glove is the glove's thickness.
You may ask: if the gloves are having the same thickness, are they going to offer similar chemical resistance?
The answer is NO.
This part might be longer, but let us separate the explanation into 2 sections:
First section we will talk about the materials that build the gloves, and the second section we will talk about the inertness of the material.
(i) Materials that build the gloves determine the chemical resistance of the glove
Besides thickness, chemical resistance of a glove also depends on the material that build the glove.
In this article, let us focus on 3 common materials that are being used in producing our gloves, which are natural rubber, nitrile and neoprene.
Let’s say all these three gloves are having the same thickness. Natural rubber gloves are only suitable for handling mild chemicals, while nitrile gloves and neoprene gloves are offering excellent protection against wide range of chemicals.
Why? Why they have similar thickness but not offering the same chemical resistance?
This is because different gloves materials will resist chemicals differently due to each material has different inertness towards the same chemical.
(ii) Inertness of the materials determine the chemical resistance ability of the glove
What is inertness?
To explain this, let us take an analogy of the relationship between strong acid versus these four kinds of material:
Metal, wood, plastic, and glass. (Assuming all of them are having the same thickness.)
When strong acid meets metal, the metal will corrode.
When strong acid encounters wood, the wood will become ashes.
When strong acid in contact with general plastic, the plastic will melt.
When strong acid come across with general glasses, nothing will happen to the glasses.
Why? This is because glass is not reactive with the strong acid, which explain the inertness of the glass material itself.
Just like glove, each type of glove has their distinctive properties against different classes of chemical.
Generally, the chemical resistance performance of nitrile and neoprene gloves are better than natural rubber gloves, because the material that build up these gloves are more chemically inert than natural rubber.
So, gloves with same thickness do not equal to similar chemical resistance performance. It depends on the materials and the inertness of the materials itself.
Have this explanation clear up your doubt?
Many may think that a chemical resistant glove can handle every chemical.
Well, this is not the case.
There is no one glove in the world that can handle every chemical. Why? As mentioned above, chemical resistance not only depends on the glove’s thickness, it also depends on the glove’s material and the inertness of the material as well.
But how do we know that which glove is more chemical resistant than the other?
Here is where EN374 standard plays it role. This standard compares chemical resistance using letters that represent common chemicals. By comparing which letters that each glove has been awarded, we will know the chemical resistant performance of the glove.
Under EN ISO 374-1:2016, gloves manufacturer can select 18 classes of chemicals for the chemical permeation test based on their product composition.
The glove must withstand a minimum breakthrough time below to be certified as either Type A or Type B or Type C chemical resistant gloves.
Type A – 30 minutes (level 2) against minimum 6 test chemicals
Type B – 30 minutes (level 2) against minimum 3 test chemicals
Type C – 10 minutes (level 1) against minimum 1 test chemical
As there is no one glove that is suitable for all type of chemical exposures, it really depends on your application needs when selecting the right gloves.
I hope you have gain some extra knowledge about rubber gloves in this article.
As a recap, here are 5 main points to take note:
(i) Do remember that nitrile gloves can develop latex allergy as well, merely switching to nitrile gloves won't help if you don't understand the type of allergy that you are suffering from.
(ii) Nitrile gloves not necessary mean those thin and disposable type, it can be thick and reusable as well!
(iii) Please do not use only one pair of gloves to handle all the house chores, best practice is to have at least 3 pairs of gloves for a household to avoid cross-contamination.
(iv) Not all gloves with the same thickness will perform the same in resisting chemical, as it also depends greatly on the material that build the glove and also the inertness of the material against chemicals.
(v) Chemical resistant gloves do not mean that they can handle every chemical, different thickness and materials might affect the chemical resistance performance!
If you think of any myths that related to rubber gloves and wish us to debunk it, feel free to post your comment down there!
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