What are Disposable Nitrile Gloves 2022

What are Disposable Nitrile Gloves 2022

Gloves protect the hands from dangerous substances, chemicals, pathogens and can even protect them from cuts and impact damage. In this blog we’ll explore disposable nitrile gloves. What are the different types? What do they do? And how can you decide which gloves are best for you?

What are they? Nitrile gloves are a more recent alternative to latex gloves. Latex gloves have become less sought after due to a rise in people with latex allergies. People who are allergic to latex can have an allergic reaction when wearing the gloves, or when touched my someone else wearing them. As they are used predominantly in the medical industry this can cause severe problems.

Latex is made from crude oil deep underground, however, nitrile is produced from a type of rubber found in the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). This naturally occurring rubber goes through an intensive process, removing proteins that may cause allergic reactions and creating a synthetic rubber. The synthetic process does make these gloves slightly move expensive, but much safer.

When the rubber is made the gloves are shaped in a factory. Using machines to mold the gloves is a fast and efficient process. Although machines do not always work perfectly. Therefore, batches of gloves are given an AQL.

AQL: Acceptable Quality Level – The number of items that are expected to have a fault in a batch. For example, an AQL of 1.5 shows that 1.5% of the gloves in a batch may have a tear/disfunction.

What do nitrile gloves do? Nitrile gloves create a barrier between potentially harmful substances and the hands. This includes an extensive list of chemicals.

Acetic acid 10% Benzalkonium chloride Chlorhexidine digluconate 4% Ethanol 20% Formaldehyde 15% Formaldehyde 37% Glutaraldehyde 50% Hydrogen peroxide 30% Nitric acid 10% Nitric acid 36% Paraformaldehyde 50% Phenol 1% Povidone iodine 10% Sodium hydroxide 40% Sulphuric acid 47% These gloves also protect against pathogens, blood, bodily fluids, bacteria and fungi.

Who are they best suited to? Thanks to their versatility nitrile gloves are suitable for a wide number of situations and work environments. Check out our list below showcasing some of the people and industries that regularly use nitrile gloves.

Carer and Patient Care workers: Working in a care home can raise the potential for many hazards. Care workers who provide intimate care for residence require top quality PPE such as nitrile gloves. These gloves are strong, thick and eliminate the risk of flaring up a type 1 latex allergic reaction in either staff or residents.

Doctors/nurses: Involved with multiple patients everyday with the possibility of conducting hands on assessments and even performing surgery doctors and nurses require a safe PPE solution. Cross-contamination in a hospital can be fatal therefore PPE for doctors, nurses and other medical staff is a top priority. Nitrile gloves enable these workers to be protected whilst they work.

The food industry: In this sector many occasions may call for gloves such as preparation of different ingredients. Meat, vegetables, and other foods all require fresh gloves. Using a pair of nitrile gloves also relieves the worry of cross-contamination of allergens and bacteria.

2 People making cakes wearing gloves Cleaners: Nitrile gloves are an excellent choice for almost any cleaning application, superior protection provides a barrier against a wide range of hazards, including detergents, degreasers, abrasive materials, alcohols, and acids. The skintight fit gives comfort to the wearer and enables them to be worn for an extended period of time, often vital for intensive cleaning.

tattoo artist wearing black gloves Tattoo artists: Working with sterile needles requires tattoo artists to use gloves. The ink involved also may stain the artists hands therefore the gloves protect them from this. Black nitrile gloves are the best choice for tattoo artists as any ink that does spill will blend into the colour of the gloves.

Science labs: In labs a number of chemicals, bacteria, fungi and pathogens may be present depending on the lab’s focus. Disposable gloves are therefore a must and nitrile gloves are the best option to ensure the highest level of protection and assurance.

Powdered gloves vs non-powdered? What is the difference?

Powdered nitrile gloves: Powdered gloves have cornstarch applied to the glove. This makes them easier to take on and take off (don and doff) as it prevents the gloves sticking together. Powdered gloves can potentially cause allergies or discomfort over long periods of wear as they can cling to the wearers skin. There is also debate over how safe powdered nitrile gloves are for the food industry. The powder can build up on the wearer’s hands, be unwittingly transferred to clothing, objects or surfaces and could contaminate the food.

Non-powdered nitrile gloves Non-powdered nitrile gloves are subjected to a process called chlorination. The gloves are submerged in chlorine, rinsed with water and dried. This essentially changes the shape of the glove making it possible to efficiently don/doff them without the need for powder. Unfortunately, this process is longer and costs more making non-powdered gloves more expensive. Non-powdered gloves are also not so easy to quickly remove as powdered gloves and the slightly altered shape can affect the firmness of the glove’s grip.

Types of Nitrile gloves Colours There are several different colours of nitrile gloves available to give you, the customer, the opportunity to choose which gloves are best suited.


The indigo shade offers extra strength, durability and protection. They also provide comfort during extended periods of wear. The colour is unlike most medicines therefore any spillages can be easily identified.

Black nitrile gloves – BEST BUY FOR TATTOO ARTISTS

Any tattoo ink will not show up on the black gloves, giving a more professional finish.


Blue is used for the scrubs of doctors to psychologically make patients feel more calm. Unicare’s blue gloves are designed to enable quick donning/doffing for those who need to change their gloves frequently.

Purple nitrile glove – BEST BUY FOR SCIENTISTS

Unicare’s purple nitrile gloves are heavy duty with an AQL of 0.65 giving the wearer assurance that they are receiving the best possible protection. Scientists work with a variety of dangerous substances these gloves create an exceptional barrier to protect the hands.

It is very unlikely you will find a skin-coloured glove or one that is a muted/more natural shade. This is largely so that if there is a tear in the glove, fragments can be easily spotted if they have contaminated food.

Specialist Nitrile Gloves It is also possible to buy special nitrile gloves that have been designed for a specific purpose such as scented nitrile gloves for cleaning from Unicare.

Unicare also has a range of heavy-duty nitrile gloves that have an AQL as low as 0.65 showing the incredible durability of these particular gloves.

For the environmentally conscious individual or company, bio-degradable gloves are also available from Unicare. These gloves biodegrade in just 490 days ! Unicare’s biodegradable gloves have been created using innovative technology.

They are a good choice for those who work in the food industry as nitrile biodegradable gloves are safe will all food types. However, the glove’s ability to withstand chemicals is decreased, therefore always check that the glove can withstand any chemicals you are working with.

Are these gloves weaker or less efficient or more expensive i.e. Why aren’t all gloves biodegradable?

How to choose the right nitrile gloves? Most workplaces have a plan in place which highlights which gloves should be worn by staff. However, if you are self-employed, need gloves for an at home task or if you’re carrying out a risk assessment here are the areas to consider.

Identify the substances handled. Identify all other hazards. Consider the type and duration of contact. Consider the user – size and comfort. Consider the task. Example: Care Home Worker, Male Bodily fluids, blood, cleaning products. Possibility of pathogens/bacteria. Prolonged contact with patients, could spread to other residents. User is a man with medium sized hands. Task involves some high levels of dexterity. Compiling all this data the care home worker requires a disposable glove that can handle the above-mentioned substances, which is available to purchase in multiple sizes such as a blue nitrile glove.

Rounding Up Navigating the world of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) can be difficult. Now you should be armed with some knowledge about nitrile gloves to make decisions on which gloves are the best for you and/or your employees.

GET IN TOUCH If you have any queries about our selection of gloves or need help purchasing from our website, do contact us via tel: 0333 0150 330 or email:, we are always happy to help.

Sources and more info:

Rubber Tree | Rainforest Alliance (

HSE – Skin at work: Selecting gloves

Unigloves | The UK’s Leading Disposable Safety Gloves Manufacturer

CategoriesAwareness Post navigation What are anti-impact gloves, cut resistant gloves and ESD gloves? Best gloves 2022 What is a ClearMask? And who are they for? 2022

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