Disposable gloves have become an essential accessory in every healthcare facility. They’re not only an effective way of ensuring that patients and healthcare professionals are safe from the dangers of being exposed to harmful microbes but can also establish a high standard of hygiene and care across all industries. While this shouldn’t be a surprise, what you might not have realized is that disposable gloves are not all identical.

Disposable gloves are usually made of materials such as vinyl and nitrile. Nitrile gloves are generally used as examination gloves. However, they can also be used for various other purposes due to their strength. Let’s look at the different characteristics of vinyl examination gloves and nitrile examination  gloves, and the kinds of gloves that are suitable for various purposes.

Nitrile gloves

Nitrile gloves became popular in the latter half of the 1990s as an excellent alternative to latex. While they’re not as elastic or flexible as their latex counterparts, disposable gloves made from nitrile are stronger and resistant to chemical smudges.

Properties and uses of nitrile examination gloves:

Nitrile examination gloves are manufactured using synthetic latex. They don’t contain latex proteins and are much more resistant to puncture than natural rubber. Nitrile gloves contain antistatic, are chemically resistant, and are scent-free, making them ideal for the food processing and dairy industries.

Examination gloves made of nitrile aren’t composed of powder; therefore, you won’t have to worry about spilling powder when working with inks or adhesives in good working order. Additionally, they are FDA-approved and suitable for use in the food service industry. Nitrile exam gloves are perfect for nurses, doctors, emergency medical technicians, tattoo artists, dental technicians, lab technicians and veterinarians.

Benefits of using nitrile examination gloves:

Nitrile gloves can offer greater resistance to chemicals than other disposable gloves. This is because nitrile rubber can withstand more chemicals and acids than natural rubber. Furthermore, gloves made of nitrile are free from powders and thus decrease the chance of being exposed to allergens or dealing with a mess of powder.

Disposable vinyl gloves:

Vinyl gloves are produced using PVC, which is an oil-based substance. The main advantage of making disposable gloves from vinyl is that they’re inexpensive. However, they are generally less durable than latex gloves or nitrile gloves. They also offer very little protection against exposure to chemical or biological chemicals due to their low cost and lack of security. They are typically used in safe and low-risk environments.

Are disposable vinyl gloves safe?

Vinyl gloves, often called PVC gloves, are made of an oil-based film known as PVC, which is a synthetic polymer. Additionally, in 2008, it was announced that the European Union banned the use of food-safety items that contain at minimum one ingredient used in the manufacture of vinyl gloves due to the possibility that the chemical could get into food items, and later be consumed. Vinyl gloves provide a moderate level of protection and are a little sensitive to touch but aren’t as durable. However, these gloves are chemical and puncture resistant and provide the most long-lasting protection.

The function and composition of vinyl gloves.

The use of vinyl gloves is a popular choice for workers in the food sector and other industries in which durability and safety aren’t a significant concern. Although they aren’t as durable, they are the most affordable option. A major drawback to vinyl gloves is that they are susceptible to structural damage or that they break when stretched. They also have an adverse environmental impact. Other features of vinyl gloves include:

  • They are free of latex
  • They are suitable for short-term, low-risk tasks
  • They have antistatic properties
  • They should be utilized in conjunction with non-hazardous substances
  • They are lightly powdered to assist in donning


At the end of the day, you must ensure you wear the right protective glove that’s appropriate to the duties you perform and offers the security you need for yourself, your colleagues, and the patients and clients that you serve and help.

Difference between surgical and examination gloves?

There are two major types of gloves that are suitable for medical use: examination and surgical. Surgical gloves provide a more precise size fitting, and have greater precision and sensitivity. They are also made to a more high-quality standard. Examination gloves are available in non-sterile and sterilized forms, while surgical gloves are generally available in sterilized form.

Last thoughts:

Disposable vinyl gloves do not provide the same level of security as nitrile gloves. However, both gloves provide much more safety as compared to other gloves. At Penguin Health, you can find Health Canada and FDA standard nitrile and vinyl gloves for use in various settings. If you’re trying to choose between vinyl or nitrile gloves, it may be quite difficult to determine which type of gloves are ideal and best suited to your needs. However, employees should not put their health, or their customers’ health, in the hands of low quality gloves.

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