Table of Contents

Introduction

For over 30 years, Unigloves has been delivering on our promise, ‘Keeping you safe’ by manufacturing and distributing high-quality disposable safety gloves. Through constant innovation and evolution, our extensive range of gloves continues to provide our customers with solutions which not only protect workers, workplaces, and products but provide excellent value for money.

Our nitrile gloves are amongst the most popular in our range, due to their superior levels of protection, comfortable fit, and durability. In this guide you will learn the most important information you'll need to choose the perfect nitrile gloves to protect your workforce today.

What are nitrile gloves?

What-are-nitrile-gloves


Nitrile gloves, unlike natural rubber latex (NRL) gloves, are produced using synthetic materials, which means they are free from latex and safe for use by those with Type I sensitisation (latex allergy). They are more robust than their latex and vinyl counterparts, making them more suitable for use in environments where tearing and abrasion are risk factors. But perhaps the most critical benefit of nitrile gloves is the protection they provide against a range of hazards, including many chemicals. These hard-wearing gloves provide users with a high level of protection, whilst being comfortable to wear and long-lasting. It’s no wonder nitrile gloves are one of the most popular glove varieties on the market.

At Unigloves, we offer an extensive range of nitrile gloves to suit almost any application. From our robust Advanced series, designed for use in the most exacting of applications, to our heavy-duty PRO.TECT range, developed to meet the needs of the automotive, engineering and construction industries, our nitrile range is diverse, versatile, and ready for anything.

What do nitrile gloves protect against?

What-do-nitrile-gloves-protect-against


Hazards to the skin are a part of many workplaces, from fast food outlets to electrical assembly and handling, to healthcare and hospital environments. Protecting workers, as well as preventing contamination of surfaces, materials, and products, is an essential part of risk mitigation for any workplace, and wearing the appropriate glove is an essential component of this mitigation. In public-facing roles such as healthcare, dental and hospital environments, gloves also play an important role in keeping medical and surgical equipment sterile, as well as protecting patients, equipment and surfaces free from harm or contamination.

Nitrile gloves are a popular choice for a wide range of applications because of the level of protection they provide against a variety of hazardous chemicals, including the following:

  • 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%

Nitrile gloves also protect against biological hazards such as bacteria, fungus, and dangerous pathogens, including those found in blood and bodily fluids. Their high levels of puncture and tear resistance mean they are also more suitable than their vinyl counterparts in applications where abrasions and sharp objects are a factor. These superior levels of protection are what make nitrile gloves the preferred choice for many of our clientele here at Unigloves.

At Unigloves, our disposable safety gloves are tested to meet several European standards, including:

  • EN374: Gloves tested to this standard will withstand at least 10 minutes of contact with certain chemicals, including those listed above. Their suitability is tested according to penetration time, degradation level, and permeation rate. Carefully consider which chemicals are a risk factor in your workplace and consult the manufacturer’s product guide for EN374 testing before selecting the appropriate nitrile glove for your application.

  • EN1186: Gloves tested under EN1186 are deemed safe for contact with all food types. Vinyl gloves, however, are not suitable for prolonged contact with fatty foods, as these can degrade the glove material. Nitrile gloves are a preferred choice in applications where contact with fatty foods and oils is a factor.

  • EN420: All protective gloves must comply with general PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) regulations. All Unigloves gloves, including our nitrile gloves ranges, comply with EN420.

 

When selecting a nitrile glove for your workplace, be sure to determine the testing standards that apply to your application to ensure their suitability for the task.

 

Recommended gloves

Advanced range: Developed to meet the needs of our most exacting customers, the Advanced range of gloves offers superior levels of protection alongside unmatched comfort and ease of wear. Manufactured using a range of proprietary Unigloves processes, these gloves are low-allergy, exceptionally clean, easy to don and remove, and incredibly comfortable to wear.

Nitrile gloves vs vinyl gloves

Nitrile-Gloves-suitable-for-cleaning


For decades, vinyl gloves have been an incredibly popular choice for many workplaces. Not only are they quick to don and remove – making them preferred in applications where regular removal and replacement is required – but they are some of the more affordable gloves available. Their synthetic composition also means they are latex free and therefore suitable for use by those who suffer from latex allergies.

Both vinyl gloves and nitrile gloves can offer workplaces a great safety glove solution, depending on the application in question. However, vinyl gloves simply do not provide the same levels of performance provided by nitrile gloves. Choosing between vinyl and nitrile gloves comes down to the application in question, the hazards and risks involved, and the factors of price and comfort.

 

The table below shows the important comparisons that need to be made:

 

 

NITRILE GLOVES

VINYL GLOVES

Material

A synthetic compound composed of acrylonitrile, butadiene and carboxylic acid monomers Synthetic disposable glove made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride)

Cost

Generally more expensive than vinyl or latex gloves Generally less expensive than latex and nitrile gloves

Latex free?

Yes Yes

Protection

Offer protection against oil-based chemicals and solvents, cleaning products, biohazards, and more

Often classed as medical grade
Not safe for sustained contact with fatty foods and oils, protect against low-level chemicals such as detergents and cleaning products

Available as medical grade gloves

Durability

More robust and resistant to tears and punctures Less robust and subject to tearing and puncturing

Flexibility and comfort

Form-fitting and very elastic Less elastic and more loose-fitting

Powder-free?

Available in powdered and non-powdered versions Available in powdered and non-powdered versions

Suitable for extended use?

Yes No

 

Nitrile gloves for cleaning

Choosing the right nitrile gloves for cleaning


Cleaning applications, including both domestic and industrial cleaning, involve contact with a range of chemicals which can irritate or cause damage to hands, wrists and arms. Nitrile gloves are an excellent choice for almost any cleaning application, thanks to the superior levels of protection they provide against a wide range of hazards, including detergents, degreasers, abrasive materials, alcohols, and acids. Thanks to their form-fitting comfort and robust construction, they’re also particularly suited for extended wear, which is often necessary for cleaning jobs.

In certain cleaning roles, protecting surfaces, materials, and even the public, against contamination is just as critical as protecting the hands of workers. That’s why we’ve developed our Pearl range.

 

Recommended gloves

Pearl range: Designed with functionality in mind, this range is available in 15 colours – allowing you to colour-code your cleaning tasks to effortlessly avoid cross-contamination. These chemically tested, high quality, powder free gloves offer enhanced barrier protection with a beaded cuff, and textured finish for superior grip.

Heavy-duty disposable nitrile gloves

Heavy-duty-disposable-nitrile-gloves

No matter the application, we understand that protecting your workers is your number one priority, which is why we’ve developed an extensive range of nitrile gloves and offer a disposable nitrile glove for almost any application.

Many of our clients operate in industries that require an exceptionally robust safety glove solution. That’s where our heavy-duty nitrile disposable gloves excel. From exposure to corrosive materials, abrasive objects, and other harmful materials, to working with sensitive equipment such as electronic components and products, heavy-duty nitrile gloves from Unigloves PRO.TECT range offer second-to-none protection for both workers and their workspaces.

 

Recommended gloves

PRO.TECT range: The PRO.TECT nitrile range from Unigloves is a line of silicone-free gloves developed specifically with the automotive, painting and manufacturing industries in mind. These heavy-duty gloves are stronger, more durable and longer-lasting than other single-use gloves on the market. Not only do they offer superior protection in even the most challenging applications, they also provide fantastic dexterity, flexibility and comfort to the wearer, making them ideal for extended use in punishing conditions.

 

Black nitrile gloves

Black-nitrile-gloves


For some workplaces, protecting worker’s hands against hazards is only part of the equation. In certain industries, such as tattooing, printing, painting, and agriculture, black nitrile gloves can also make the environment more comfortable for workers and clients. In these industries, in particular, contact with visible bodily fluids or paints and dyes can make the environment uncomfortable or unpleasant for workers and their clients. Black nitrile gloves help to mask the colour of these materials and make the experience more pleasant for all parties involved.

Another benefit of black disposable gloves is the ease of detection of light-coloured fluids, which can be particularly useful in the dairy industry, for example.

 

 

Recommended gloves

PRO.TECT Black: These latex free and powder free gloves are not only resistant to a range of chemicals, but also offer textured grips and beaded cuffs. Their silicone-free formula means no finger marks on metal or glass surfaces, making them ideal for printing, automotive and painting applications. Meanwhile, their heavyweight construction makes them extra robust, for even the most demanding jobs. Discover these and other black nitrile gloves in our range here.

 

Are nitrile exam gloves latex free?

Are-nitrile-exam-gloves-latex-free


Traditionally, latex gloves were used in many healthcare, hygiene, and medical roles as examination gloves, due to their incredible elasticity and their second-skin feel. However, due to the increased awareness around latex allergies, many industries have chosen to move away from using latex examination gloves. In their place, nitrile exam gloves are often used, and thanks to innovations in manufacturing processes, offer a latex-like feel and improved levels of comfort for wearers.

Nitrile gloves are free from NRL, making them safe for use by those suffering from latex allergies, as well as being safe for those whom the wearers come into contact with, including the general public, patients and clients. What’s more, nitrile gloves offer higher levels of protection against tearing and puncturing over their latex counterparts, as well as increased levels of resistance to a number of chemicals.

 

Recommended gloves

Unicare range: Our Unicare range has been developed to provide wearers with excellent levels of comfort, and are available in both medical and non-medical grade varieties. Unicare nitrile gloves are a favourite within the healthcare, veterinary, and hospital industries thanks to their latex free formulation, which is safe for those experiencing a Type I sensitivity (or latex allergy). Their powder free formulation also helps to reduce the risk of Type IV contact dermatitis, as well as helping to reduce the risk of particulate contamination. They’re also suitable for use with all food types, making them an extremely versatile disposable safety glove solution.

 

Are nitrile gloves anti-static?

Are-nitrile-gloves-anti-static


Although wearing safety gloves is an important part of the PPE component of workplace health and safety, and plays a vital role in keeping workers and materials safe, the gloves themselves have the potential to present a risk. Some glove materials like NRL (natural rubber latex) are inherently insulative, which means that they can cause a build-up of static electricity. This build-up can cause ESD or ‘electrostatic discharge’, which is not only potentially harmful to workers but can damage materials and components which contain electronics.

Nitrile gloves, as opposed to latex gloves, are naturally less static insulative and less likely to cause ESD. For workplaces where ESD is a risk factor, choosing nitrile gloves is an important part of creating an ESD Protected Area which is free from the risk of electrostatic discharge. However, with many nitrile gloves, ESD is still a possibility. That’s why we’ve created a product specifically designed for workplaces where ESD is a concern.

 

Recommended gloves

Zero | GM005*: Our Zero anti-static nitrile gloves not only suppress electrostatic discharge, but they are also incredibly comfortable to wear. Their latex free and powder free formulation is also free from zinc, sulphur and chemical accelerators. Each of these factors helps to reduce the risk of Type I and Type IV sensitisation for wearers, making them some of the safest disposable gloves on the market. Their unique low modulus formulation mimics the elasticity and comfort of latex gloves, whilst offering the superior protection of nitrile against a range of chemicals.

Note: Products in the Unigloves range are not tested for nor designed for use in environments where flammable or explosive risks exist.

 

Summary & next steps

Here at Unigloves, not only are we dedicated to manufacturing the most high-quality disposable safety gloves on the market, we also pride ourselves on understanding our customers and their industries on a deeper level. We are committed to continually innovating and improving our design and manufacturing processes with the latest materials, technologies and processes, to bring you an extensive range of safety glove solutions.

Over the years, we’ve developed a range of nitrile gloves which are not only superior in their levels of protection – to keep your workers’ hands safe from a variety of hazards they face on a daily basis – but in their comfort, fit, and durability. Our nitrile gloves are some of the most robust, hard-wearing, and comfortable on the market, which means they’ll continue to protect your workers, workplaces and surface, and materials, no matter what you throw at them.

No matter the application, Unigloves has the perfect disposable nitrile glove to suit. For more information about our range and for assistance in selecting the right glove for your workplace, get in touch with our team today.

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