Nitrile gloves are the most recognized and popular PPE gloves. They are made of synthetic rubber, which means that even if the glove wearer isn’t allergic to Latex, it still might be a good idea to switch to Nitrile. For example, even if a tattoo artist doesn’t have a Latex allergy, one of his customers may.
Nitrile is also stronger than Latex – in fact, it’s up to 3 times more puncture resistant! Although you give up some strength and flexibility with Nitrile, it’s much more puncture-resistant than natural rubber gloves. And when you’re dealing with sharp needles, you don’t want to take any chances.
Due to improved manufacturing techniques, Nitrile is closing the gap significantly with Latex when it comes to comfort and dexterity.
It used to be that there was a big difference in tactile sensation between Nitrile and Latex gloves. While that is still partially true, manufacturing techniques continue to improve, and the difference between Latex and Nitrile isn’t as great as it once was.
Nitrile gloves are more puncture resistant. Latex does little to protect the skin in contrast with the puncture resistance achieved by nitrile gloves. Whereas Latex can rupture when used too roughly or by snagging on a piece of equipment. Nitrile is more durable and thus achieves a higher level of barrier protection.
Individuals who are prone to allergies often find themselves irritated by Latex. In fact, Latex allergies are so common that FDA even issued a recommendation for medical suppliers to label products according to their Nitrile vs. Latex make-up.
Latex gloves are available in a variety of sizes, so their fit is somewhat customizable. That said, the material is non-conforming. Regardless of wear duration, Latex gloves will never fully mold to your hand. As compared to Nitrile gloves, where they form to the wearer because of its unique memory membrane … unlike Latex. The result is a more comfortable fit. And, with reduced slipping, sticking or other nuisances typically caused by Latex gloves. Nitrile may also protect against hand fatigue.