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What is the difference between vinyl vs nitrile gloves?

Both vinyl gloves and nitrile gloves are very popular choices of personal protective equipment, both in medical spaces and in other industries. However, each has its own advantages and is useful for different jobs, so here is an article that will tell you everything you need to know about vinyl vs. nitrile gloves.

What are nitrile gloves?

Before any comparison of vinyl vs. nitrile gloves, it is key to define “what are nitrile gloves”. Thus, nitrile gloves are famous mainly for three reasons: their chemical resistance, their durability and their absence of latex, which is a great advantage for people allergic to latex. They are popular in the medical sector, for food handling and for tattooists. 

The most frequently asked question is what nitrile gloves are made of, and the answer is simple: they are made of rubber, more specifically butyronitrile compound. Nitrile gloves generally come in blue or black, which makes it easy to identify if they have been torn.

Butyronitrile, also known as butanenitrile or propylcyanide, is resistant to most common chemicals and solvents, making nitrile gloves the preferred choice in laboratories. It is also commonly used in shoes, sponges and other implements.

In addition, nitrile gloves are more resistant than latex and, unlike latex, it is very rare for someone to develop allergies to nitrile. 

It is important to clarify that not all nitrile gloves are approved for medical use and that they are not heat resistant. Thus, if you are deciding between vinyl vs. nitrile gloves you should consider what you need the disposable gloves for and verify if they are approved for medical use.

What are vinyl gloves?

Vinyl gloves are another popular personal protective equipment option. We have already discussed what nitrile gloves are made of; in the case of vinyl gloves these are primarily composed of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).  PVC is also used to make toys, credit cards, pipes and even bottles. 

In the vinyl vs. nitrile gloves comparison, it should be noted that vinyl gloves are much more commonly used in daily life, especially for household cleaning and food preparation in restaurants. 

In addition, allergy to vinyl gloves is extremely rare because they are 100% latex-free. As noted above, there are numerous studies on how common latex allergies are, which can appear at any time in an individual’s life. If you suspect you have an allergy to vinyl gloves it is likely that your true allergy is to the cornstarch that is often used in vinyl gloves for ease of use, in which case you should only purchase powder-free vinyl gloves

Vinyl vs. Nitrile gloves

Once we have defined the gloves individually, it is time to make the comparison of vinyl vs. nitrile gloves. So, first of all, you should keep in mind that the right choice will depend largely on what you will use them for. 

In this sense, in nitrile gloves vs. vinyl, nitrile gloves have much more resistance to chemicals and oils, as well as punctures. Thus, if you are a tattoo artist, they are useful for their toughness against punctures, on the other hand, the use of chemicals and solvents in laboratories and auto mechanics makes them the preferred choice in these spaces.

On the other hand, they allow mobility and sensitivity in the hands, in addition to offering protection from infectious materials, making them excellent for health care providers.

Regarding vinyl vs. nitrile gloves, the advantages of vinyl gloves are that they are cheaper, however, they are less resistant than nitrile gloves. They are useful for low-risk tasks that still require grooming and personal protection measures, for example, food preparation and handling.

Vinyl gloves are more susceptible to tearing and are not good protection against chemicals. Thus, although they are more economical than nitrile gloves, they can also cause long-term costs because they tear easily. Thus, they are only recommended for, as we have already established, low-risk activities. 

However, beyond the vinyl vs. nitrile gloves comparison, it is important to recognize that latex gloves are not always the best choice for the healthcare sector. This is due to the frequency of latex allergies from which both healthcare providers and patients can suffer, and there is not always the time to test if a patient has a latex allergy.

Given the above, the popularity of latex gloves has decreased significantly. So, in the discussion of vinyl vs. nitrile gloves, either option is better than latex gloves since both are latex-free and allergies rarely occur with polyvinyl chloride and butyronitrile.

Finally, we hope this article has been useful for you to understand the comparison of vinyl vs. nitrile gloves. Likewise, if you wish to purchase disposable gloves in the Canadian area, we recommend Divocco Medical, which we assure you have the safety features indicated for use in the health sector.