Gloves are used in many different applications in multiple industries. Choosing the best and safest gloves requires you to consider several factors to determine which glove materials will be effective in your facility.
It is important to understand that there are different types of gloves and that they may not all provide adequate protection in certain applications. For example, thin latex gloves will be useless where there is a risk of puncturing or tearing.
The best gloves for your facility will be based on several factors, including: use, thickness, tensile strength, elasticity, and puncture and chemical resistance requirements.
Below, we'll give you the information you need to choose the best glove type for each application in your facility. We'll start by defining the different factors to consider when choosing gloves, then we'll identify the most common types of gloves and their pros and cons.
There are many different disposable glove substrates to choose from, each serving a different need, but there are two main types of disposable gloves: general purpose gloves and medical/examination grade gloves.
Reusable gloves, sometimes labeled as industrial or heavy-duty gloves, offer better protection and are less prone to tearing than disposable gloves. They also provide better protection against chemicals and hazardous materials. However, they are thicker and less flexible than disposable gloves, and limit touch sensitivity.
To remain practical, reusable gloves must be washed and dried after each use. Proper care is especially important if gloves are used with chemicals to avoid cross-contamination and user injury.
Reusable gloves should be inspected for discoloration or any signs or damage before each use. If you notice any signs of wear, it should be discarded. If the inside of the glove becomes contaminated during use, it should also be discarded.
The thickness of the glove is measured in mils. One mil is equal to one thousandth of an inch (0.001 inch). Gloves are typically 2-15 mils thick.
In general, the thicker the glove, the more protection it provides, but the added thickness reduces touch sensitivity and can make it harder to work. Reusable gloves will be thicker and offer more protection.
Tensile strength is the force or pulling force required to break the glove. Tensile strength is measured in mPa (megapascals).
The lower the mPa rating, the easier the glove is to tear.
The minimum tensile strength of medical gloves must be 11 mPa.
This is a measure of the glove's ability to be stretched without tearing or breaking.
Medical gloves require a minimum elongation of 300%.
Different glove materials are resistant to different chemicals.
Gloves can provide effective chemical protection depending on the mode of contact. There are two types of chemical exposure: incidental or prolonged.
The length of the glove is the length from the fingertips to the wrist opening. Longer gloves are required when employees work in areas of increased risk, such as immersing hands in solutions.
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