There was an interesting observation from the food safety experts at the Gourmet Guardian, when they were here to prepare us for HACCP certification. When they were checking through our range of hair nets, beard covers, sleeve covers, aprons and shoe covers they mentioned how important these products were in the Australian Standards for Hygienic Production of Poultry Meat for Human Consumption (Australian Standard 4465).
We've talked about vinyl and latex gloves but it wouldn't be a three-part series without talking about nitrile gloves, now would it? Nitrile gloves are disposable gloves like the other two but unlike vinyl and latex, they're in a whole distinct class of their own!
Nitrile gloves have many fascinating properties that make it very common for manual labour. In fact, factories have adopted nitrile gloves as their 'can't live without' item simply for its durability and flexibility to have custom changes made to it.
The advantages nitrile gloves have to offer to make employment at places where chemicals, oil, heat and sweat run rampant is that all of these problems are much more bearable because of its chemical resistance and heat dissipation.
To understand why nitrile gloves are so important today, keep reading to learn about the special properties and uses they have to offer!
How Nitrile Gloves Are Made
We now know that latex gloves are made from rubber trees and vinyl gloves are made from PVC so then, what is nitrile's secret ingredient?
In the words of a scientist, nitrile gloves are made with synthetic polymer formed by combining the monomers acrylonitrile, butadiene and carboxylic acid. In words that the rest of us can understand, the gloves special ingredient is known as synthetic rubber.
Nitrile gloves are known to be a bit looser around the hand but one quality they possess that many other disposable gloves don't is a special property that's called butadiene. Butadiene allows the glove to warm up to the hand so that it becomes soft and mouldable, allowing it to be worn with comfort for many hours at a time.
Other elements and solvents are mixed in to maximise chemical and oil resistance, making nitrile gloves much more durable against punctures and erosion that can sometimes be caused by factory chemicals.
The biggest difference that you'll note with these gloves is that they can be a little thicker than a latex or vinyl glove. While it's been documented that gross dexterity does remain in full tact, it was shown that nitrile gloves can give 8.6 less finger dexterity than latex of vinyl gloves.
This is the main reason why you'll see nitrile gloves commonly used in factories, for automobiles and other jobs that are considered to be tough instead of the doctor's office for checking vitals.
Uses of Nitrile Gloves
The popularity of nitrile gloves is that it's made to be the most resistant of all disposable rubber gloves to oils and most chemicals. Some hospitals and dentists do keep a small stock within their offices but when you think of nitrile gloves, think more about factories and laboratories.
Chemists and scientists work with lots of needles and chemical mixtures amongst other things. They have to experiment with elements, mix them and make sure the solvents never touch their skin for safety reasons.
Automobile manufacturers are around oily cars, whether it's a mechanic or an assembly line. Hands have to go up into dirty places, change oil and do some heavy work that can cause blisters. Nitrile gloves are used just as much for safety as goggles and hard hats are at a construction site!
Factories that combine both chemicals and manual labour aren't left out either! Hands are everything in most businesses which is why it's your job to keep them working as best as they possibly can!
For those of you, who aren't employed in a manual labour job, don't think there's not a use for you! You do still use your hands in some pretty rough and sometimes gross places, right?
Think yard work or oil changes in your car – no one wants to touch prickly branches from a newly trimmed rose bush or greasy nuts and bolts inside of a car. Save the latex and vinyl for the inside and bring those nitrile gloves outdoors with you!
Wrapping up the entire series, what was once to be thought as only a doctor's (or nurse's) accessory to their white coats is now used for the biggest jobs in manufacturing companies all the way down to household chores. The uses for disposable gloves are endless and will ALWAYS be around!
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