If you’re in the glove industry, you’ve probably wondered about – or even been asked about – latex gloves.
Latex gloves, for all of their benefits, prove to be a common topic of conversation primarily because they cause allergies.
And here at Omni International Corp., our inboxes are often flooded with questions about gloves made from natural rubber latex.
So, for today’s article, we’re going to answer five of the most popular questions you wanted to know about latex gloves.
1) Are latex gloves waterproof?
Latex gloves are stronger than synthetic vinyl gloves and provide stronger barrier protection, so they’re more waterproof than synthetic gloves.
Also, latex gloves are recommended for incidental contact and offer an advantage in that they’re good for biological and water-based materials.
2) Are latex gloves impermeable?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “impermeable” as “not permitting passage (as of a fluid) through its substance.”
But no disposable gloves – including ones made from latex – are truly impermeable.
As the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) explains:
“The phrase commonly found on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) ‘Wear impervious (or impermeable) gloves’ has very limited value. It is technically inaccurate. No glove material will remain impervious to a specific chemical forever. No one glove material is resistant to all chemicals. Some chemicals will travel through or permeate the glove in a few seconds, while other chemicals may take days or weeks.”
Consequently, latex gloves are not impermeable, per se, but chemical-resistant – hence why they’re defined as “chemical- and liquid-resistant” gloves by OSHA.
3) Are latex gloves acetone resistant?
Acetone is “a volatile fragrant flammable liquid ketone C3H6O used chiefly as a solvent and in organic synthesis and found in abnormal quantities in diabetic urine.” Latex gloves do offer some protection against acetone.
For example, if you look at our chemical compatibility chart, you’ll discover that our latex gloves have the color green and the symbol “E or G” under “Acetone,” which means that they have a rating of “Excellent or Good.”
4) Which applications are latex gloves primarily used for?
Latex gloves are primarily used for medical applications. These gloves are produced as ambidextrous (examination and general purpose) and hand-specific (surgical and floor/procedure gloves).
5) Are latex gloves the preferred polymer for use within the food service industry?
Latex gloves have been found not to be the preferred polymer for use within the food service industry because latex gloves can leave behind traces of latex protein on food.
Consequently, several states including Hawaii, Oregon, Connecticut, and most recently, Ohio, have banned latex glove use.
Curious to have any of your other latex glove questions answered – including what latex allergies actually are and if glove powder causes latex allergies? Head over to our FAQ page or ask a question in the comments below!