Originally formulated as a replacement for natural rubber latex gloves due to latex allergy concerns, Nitrile is a synthetic material made to mimic latex, but has no natural rubber latex in it. Nitrile gloves can be made thinner, providing better feel without giving up any protective properties. Nitrile gloves are generally stronger, more puncture resistant and more chemically resistant than their original latex counterparts. Nitrile offers excellent protection against acids, oils, gasoline, solvents, esters, and grease. Nitrile gloves are more resistant to snags, punctures, abrasion, and cuts than neoprene, latex or PVC gloves and are quickly becoming a staple in the industry.
This is the most universally recognized glove material. Latex gloves hold up to acetones, ketones, and thinners. The main concern associated with these gloves is latex allergies, which can develop over a long period of exposure to the product. Reduced latex protein gloves were developed for this reason. These gloves have been additionally processed to reduce levels of natural rubber latex (NRL) protein.
Many customers are now switching from latex gloves to Nitrile in an attempt to decrease latex allergy occurrence in workers. This is causing a significant reduction in accidents, injury, and loss of time spent productively in research and experimentation. As diseases such as AIDS have become more prevalent in recent years, and with continual health scares such as MRSA and Bird Flu, the concern of healthcare workers and patients about the quality of medical gloves has increased. Practitioners need guarantees about the quality, strength, and durability of a glove.
Tough, yet gentle on the hands, Nitrile gloves are becoming increasingly popular as they are less likely to cause accidents, irritation and allergy. They are the best choice when it comes to working with solvents, oils, greases, some acids and bases. There have been some concerns raised over Nitrile gloves decreasing dexterity in smaller hand motions.
Some studies have found Nitrile gloves to give 8.6% less finger dexterity. However, the change was small and there was no gross loss in dexterity in normal movements when using Nitrile gloves over latex. Nitrile gloves may impede smaller finger actions to a very small degree, but will not affect larger movements of the hands and arms and there should be no appreciable loss of deftness and dexterity.