Latex gloves are, by far, the most used disposable rubber gloves used to date. It's estimated that the average hospital bed sees 75 pairs of latex gloves per day while the average dentist uses 123 pairs of these gloves per day. That's definitely not a small number considering theses are only the statistics for one doctor and one dentist, not including the thousands of other uses not mentioned!
The problem with all of this popularity is that out of the billions of people either using or having had contact with latex gloves, allergic reactions to the natural ingredient used in making them are bound to pop up around the globe.
While some believe this to be an epidemic that calls for the ban of latex, other realize the fact that out of the billions who touch these gloves is obviously a much bigger audience than those not using them at all.
The same concept applies to disposable latex gloves. We've adapted, not thrown out the need for it altogether!
Understanding the need for clean and sterile environments along with allergies that are present, different types of disposable gloves are now used. Vinyl gloves have become the next latex with the same elasticity and durability, different grading for different uses and extremely hygienic.
The difference between latex and vinyl gloves is the ingredients used in making them.
PVC is a synthetic rubber that are classified as either thermosetting resins or thermoplastic resins. The first type of resin includes the phenols used in latex but the difference is that this resin hardens and can never be softened again. This would be the PVC pipe you're familiar with.
The second resin, thermoplastic, contains all of your poly's: Polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS) and polypropylene (PP). This version can be moulded into flexible items making thermoplastic the ideal choice of PVC for vinyl gloves.
The biggest difference that can be seen by the human eye is the way these gloves fit your hand. They're designed to be a little looser fitting but they come in a variety of sizes so that you can pick the size that's perfect for you or the job they're needed for.
Vinyl gloves come in extra-small, small, medium, large and x-large so whatever size suits the job will definitely suit you!
Medical and high risk graded vinyl gloves do come FDA approved and are used more commonly in medical and food service fields, whereas, utility graded gloves aren't approved and most likely used for painting or cleaning around the house.
Although there are endless uses for vinyl gloves, they're most commonly used in hospital, medical and dental settings. You might have noticed the latex and latex-free box of gloves sitting next to each other during your last visit for a check-up.
If you're one of those people who do have allergies to latex, don't feel shy in asking your doctor or dentist to switch to vinyl gloves. While a very small percentage of people are actually allergic to latex (less than two in 200 among healthcare workers), the hype that surrounds latex gloves is much larger.
Regardless, the great ideology of today's time is that there's always a plethora of options that continue improving and expanding to keep EVERYONE happy!