With the end of the lockdown, the request for PPE did not go down. But not only masks are requested. In the West, to protect people, single-use gloves are getting more and more requested, even though WHO did not express its approval, fearing that the usage of gloves will make people forget to wash their hands often.
But what types of gloves exist, and which ones are suitable for the recovery?
It is best to analyze them by material:
The nitrile gloves are overall the most flexible ones by usage, and can be used for medical, industrial and food processing work. One of their key features is to show clearly any potential damage to it so that they can be instantly replaced. Although they are relatively of recent discovery, they are usually advised for anything, but their availability is going down due to the massive orders. Some of the biggest manufacturers in China and Malaysia require a waiting time of two to six months for an order placed now.
An alternative to the nitrile gloves that is more and more present in the market – often the cause of many misunderstandings – are the chloronite gloves, made with a mixture of nitrile and neoprene to improve the resistance against some bases and acids. While chloronite can be a good alternative, it is too often overlooked that it does not match to pure nitrile in both features and pricing. Due to the shortage of gloves, and the increasing price of nitrile gloves, some people have been using another material, which brought to another series of misunderstandings: in this case it is a blend of vinyl and nitrile, often considered as “nitrile gloves”. For this reason, you need to be careful and make sure you know what you are buying exactly.
The vinyl (or polyvinyl chloride, AKA PVC) gloves are extremely cheap, and in this period are advised by the factories as an alternative to the nitrile due to their massive availability in short time. Some vinyl gloves can be sterile for medical appliances.
The latex gloves are known to be the easiest to wear, as well as quite good especially against infection, but with a potential issue: some individuals are allergic to latex, so it is not convenient to touch people using those gloves. For isolated work, or in an environment where you can confirm there are no allergies to latex (e.g. a closed working environment), they are perfectly usable. Another note is that if they get damaged, it is not as obvious as it can be for nitrile gloves, and thus you need to pay attention to the integrity of your gloves periodically.
The polyethylene gloves (PE) are among the cheapest, but they are not very resistant to water, which means they are less safe than others when it comes to prevention.
Besides the material, another important point is the destination of use: medical gloves are usually nitrile, or vinyl in some cases. Latex is not really used anymore, while polyethylene is not good for the protection of the wearer.
Furthermore, gloves come with different weight – the lighter the better – which can go from 3 to 5 grams each. This impacts on the quality and on the shipping costs.
Another point is about the size of the gloves – usually being divided in S, M, L and XL classes.
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