The Many Benefits of Disposable Latex Gloves

Donald Gillespie All, latex, Product, Unigloves
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Unigloves has been manufacturing disposable latex gloves for decades now, providing the highest quality safety gloves for both industrial and household applications. Over the years, we’ve developed some of the most advanced and versatile latex gloves on the market. Here, we outline the many benefits of disposable latex gloves, to help you select the right glove, no matter the task at hand.

What is latex?

Latex is a natural material extracted from the Hevea brasiliensis or ‘rubber tree’. The elasticity that natural rubber latex (NRL) provides makes it ideal for use in a range of applications. Latex was first used in latex gloves in the late 1800s, but today is found in a huge variety of both household and industrial products. These include gloves, tyres, condoms, surgical equipment and more. Since their earliest uses, latex products have been manufactured to be thinner, more flexible, and more versatile.

What is latex?

Latex gloves have been a popular choice of disposable glove since their inception, due to their elasticity and protective qualities. Latex gloves are thin and yet fit tightly to the hand, making them easy to wear and offering a high degree of dexterity.

Benefits of disposable latex gloves

Latex gloves are still one of the most popular glove varieties available on the market, despite other great options such as vinyl and nitrile making headway, particularly in commercial and industrial applications. The physical properties of natural rubber latex make disposable latex gloves extremely elastic and resistant to tearing, whilst also offering protection against a range of hazards, including biohazards such as pathogens (including bacteria and viruses), and certain chemicals.

Disposable latex gloves in use.

Many users consider disposable latex gloves to be the most comfortable disposable glove material available, and thanks to their snug fit and ‘second skin’ feel, they allow users to perform intricate tasks which require a high degree of touch sensitivity. As they are made from a naturally occurring material, latex gloves are also more easily biodegradable than their synthetic glove counterparts, which makes them a preferred choice for some users. These factors mean that disposable latex gloves are extremely versatile and can be used in across a broad range of applications throughout a number of industries.

Why buy disposable latex gloves?

In order to make workplaces as safe as possible or workers, businesses must make concerted efforts to remove or avoid risks, including hazardous materials, where possible. However, for many workplaces, although all efforts have been made to minimise risks, some hazards may still remain. This is where PPE (personal protective equipment) plays a role.

If workers in your workplace are involved in operations that bring them into contact with potentially hazardous materials, then protective gloves should be one of the first pieces of PPE considered.

Not only do disposable latex gloves help to keep workplaces, materials and surfaces sanitary and free from contamination, they also protect workers themselves. Latex gloves are an effective shield for the hands and wrists against certain chemicals, including detergents, alcohols, biohazards such as viruses and bacteria, bodily fluids, abrasive materials, and more.

Why buy disposable latex gloves? Gloves in use in a medical setting.

Unigloves manufactures a range of latex glove options for our clients, to offer the most appropriate protection for any given application. Glove varieties include:

  • Different cuff lengths to offer greater wrist and forearm protection
  • Beaded cuffs for added strength and protection against liquid roll back
  • Textured grips for better grip and dexterity
  • Colour variations for colour-coding applications
  • Powdered and powder-free varieties
  • Low-protein formulas for reduced risk of Type I sensitivity (latex allergies)
  • Medical grade varieties (often called ‘examination gloves’)
  • Food safe varieties
  • Different thicknesses, and more

No matter the workplace or application in questions, Unigloves offers a disposable latex glove solution to suit.

Powdered vs powder-free disposable latex gloves

Many disposable latex glove manufacturers offer both powdered and powder-free latex glove varieties, and each has its merits. Powder is often added to the inner coating of disposable latex gloves to make them easier to don and remove. This powder can also help to limit and absorb perspiration, making the gloves more comfortable to wear, especially for extended periods of time. However, powdered gloves can increase the risks of contamination due to their powder particles, and are also the primary source of airborne allergenic material in the workplace. In some instances, powdered gloves can also cause irritation for users. For these reasons, powder-free latex gloves are often preferred in workplaces such as hospitals, laboratories, in painting applications, and in manufacturing environments.

Benefits of disposable latex gloves. Disposable latex gloves in use in a laboratory setting.

At Unigloves, we’ve developed disposable latex glove formulations which offer easy donning and removal in powder-free versions, providing our clients with the best of both worlds.

Why are disposable latex gloves available in different colours?

Disposable latex gloves from Unigloves are available in a range of different colours. This is to offer our clients not only a range of choices, but also a simple and effective way to avoid cross-contamination in the workplace. By selecting a different shade for each application or stage of work, workers can ensure that materials, contaminants, or hazards from one area of work are not transferred to another. This is particularly handy in hospital and healthcare environments, food preparation and handling applications, and for care workers, for example.

Do disposable latex gloves offer better protection than other gloves?

Latex gloves offer a high degree of protection against a broad range of hazards, including chemical and biohazards, and abrasive or tearing hazards. Latex provides a greater level of strength and protection against punctures and tears than vinyl gloves. They also offer wearers a snugger fit and a greater level of stretch, making them more comfortable for extended use, and providing superior dexterity. However, in instances where abrasive materials and tear or puncturing hazards are more likely, nitrile gloves can offer a more suitable level of protection.

Do disposable latex gloves offer better protection than other gloves? Latex gloves in use in a medical setting.

Disposable latex gloves can also protect users against exposure to potentially harmful materials such as cleaning products and detergents, alcohols, and biohazards. For these reasons, they’re a popular choice in cleaning and janitorial roles, care work, and domestic work. Where there are stronger chemicals involved, including oil-based chemicals, nitrile gloves are once again, often a more suitable alternative.

Finally, in workplaces where latex allergies are deemed to be a risk, a synthetic glove material such as vinyl or nitrile (or a vinyl/nitrile blend) may be preferred. For more information about latex allergies and alternative options, see our recent blog article [link].

Disposable latex gloves from Unigloves

Several of our Unigloves disposable glove ranges feature latex gloves. Here are a few of our most popular varieties:

PRO.TECT Latex HD – heavy duty extended cuff:  The extended cuff on this heavy-duty glove provides extra protection against chemical splashes on the wrists and arms, and helps to prevent water from getting into the glove when working in wet environments.

Allsafe Blue – blue latex household glove: The Allsafe range comes in a variety of colours, to help you colour-code the workplace and prevent cross-contamination. The reusable, flock-lined Allsafe gloves are perfect for general cleaning and light chemical contact and suited to both household and industrial applications.

Supergip – latex gloves: These medical grade, medium weight latex examination gloves are chemical tested and washed offline for a softer, more comfortable finish. These gloves are easier to don and remove without irritating the skin, are compatible with touch screens, and suited to the most precise and intricate of tasks.

No matter your application, Unigloves has the perfect disposable latex gloves for you. Browse our full range of latex gloves online, or download a copy of our catalogue today.

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