Latex gloves have been a favorite in the medical field for decades. Due to latex’s durability, flexibility, and chemical resistance, they were used to protect doctors, nurses, and patients from the transmission of bloodborne pathogens and harmful illnesses.
Latex gloves are known to fit tightly and comfortably while offering high levels of protection, meaning they were also a popular choice in other industries, such as manufacturing, food service, dental, and automotive.
While latex gloves remain popular in various industries and circumstances, there is a huge demand for latex-free alternatives due to latex allergies. Between 8% and 17% of those who wear latex gloves suffer an allergic reaction. Nitrile and vinyl are the most popular modern varieties for anyone who suffers from allergic reactions to latex.
Benefits of Latex Gloves
If allergies aren’t an issue, there are many advantages to using latex gloves, particularly when it comes to comfort and dexterity. Here are some of the key benefits of latex gloves:
Latex is a type of natural rubber that’s taken from the Hevea brasiliensis species, also known as the rubber tree. This material has a high level of barrier protection against chemicals, making it ideal for disposable latex gloves.
Latex gloves are manufactured in different levels of thickness for varying magnitudes of protection. However, latex is naturally resistant to acids, bases, and chemicals like chlorine, iodine, and formaldehyde.
Natural rubber latex allows manufacturers to create gloves of a specific thickness, offering improved puncture resistance. Heavy-duty latex gloves last longer than other materials and may be used for tough tasks such as industrial and automotive applications. Puncture resistance is also useful in food and medical industries as it ensures the gloves can stand up to contact with various equipment and utensils.
Excellent Hand Dexterity
One of the significant advantages of latex gloves is the tight fit and the tactile and touch sensitivity. They conform to the hand more closely than nitrile and vinyl varieties. Medical grade latex gloves are ideal for surgeries or dental procedures, where medical professionals must handle small items and perform precise movements.
Available in a Range of Colors
While a range of colors may seem like a purely aesthetic factor when deciding on latex gloves, it is much more significant. Having gloves in a selection of colors is a straightforward but effective way to prevent cross-contamination within the working environment. Different colors are assigned for specific tasks or areas of the workplace, making it easier for staff to avoid accidental transmission of contaminants from one space to another.
Color coding is used frequently in hospitals, healthcare facilities, food services, and other industries where contamination is a risk.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates personal protective equipment (PPE). They recommend specific uses and precautions for certain equipment, including powdered and powder-free latex gloves, vinyl gloves, and disposable nitrile gloves. In particular circumstances, gloves must meet high standards. For example, medical-grade, exam gloves, and surgical gloves are regulated by the FDA as Class I devices, and they require a 510(k) premarket notification.
Depending on the needs of the user, specific varieties of latex gloves are most suitable.
Choose ICU Production Inc. For Your Latex Gloves
Whether you require latex gloves for you and your workers in the foodservice industry or you’re topping up your supplies in a healthcare facility, ICU Production Inc. is an FDA-approved supplier of PPE for a range of industries.
We provide high-quality, tested equipment, offering maximum protection and improving the safety levels of your workplace. We also offer alternative materials, such as nitrile and vinyl, for those with allergies.