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Important Information about Nitrile Gloves

What are Nitrile Gloves?

Nitrile is a synthetic rubber that offers flexibility, long-life durability, and chemical resistance. Nitrile is a synthetic elastomer designed to be moisture resistant. Disposable nitrile gloves are flexible and durable making them ideal for industrial tasks, the food industry, and health care applications. They are also great for most medical environments.

What are Nitrile Gloves Made From?

Nitrile gloves are made from synthetic rubber called acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber. This material provides users with heightened tactile sensitivity, allowing you to pick up small items such as screws and needles more accurately. They are also more puncture resistant.

The disposable glove materials were first developed to solve the common problems of allergic reactions to natural rubber latex gloves and low protection against solvents. They are the most popular glove materials used in many industries and the ideal alternative to disposable latex gloves.

What are Nitrile Gloves Used For?

Nitrile gloves are used for a variety of industrial, domestic, and healthcare purposes. Nitrile gloves are the popular choice for health care workers, dentistry, beauty shop owners, healthcare providers, laboratory work, food handling, chemical handling, and general industrial tasks.

Nitrile protective gloves can also be found in the automotive industry and janitorial industry. Nitrile was found to be more durable than vinyl when performing gripping tasks with power tools and picking up tools like wrenches and screwdrivers.

What are the Advantages of Nitrile Gloves?

Because nitrile is naturally resistant to oils, it can offer extra protection for people working with oily substances such as motor oils, adhesives like epoxies, and other petroleum based chemicals or lubricants.

Nitrile gloves offer many advantages over vinyl gloves that include:

  • High chemical resistance
  • Highly resistant to oils, fats, and petroleum-based products
  • Superior puncture resistance
  • High level of touch sensitivity
  • Mimics the fit and feel of latex gloves
  • Best for high-risk situations around infectious materials
  • Great fit molding to hand
  • Long lasting durability and flexible
  • Lightweight and breathable material, easy to use
  • Available in powdered and powder-free
  • Can be worn for longer periods of time
  • Latex-free, protein-free, and allergy-free
  • Long shelf life

What are the Disadvantages of Nitrile Gloves?

  • Costs are often higher than vinyl gloves making it a more expensive option


Are Nitrile Gloves Chemical Resistant?

Nitrile is a synthetic rubber with excellent flexibility, puncture resistance, strength and abrasion resistance. They also offer resistance to many chemicals making them great for general-duty short-duration tasks.

Are Nitrile Gloves Acid Resistant?

Nitrile gloves are resistant to alkaline solutions, as well as certain acidic solutions. However, if you encounter a strong alkaline solution, it is possible that the glove material may break down and deteriorate upon handling. Overall, nitrile gloves acid resistance is very good in comparison to latex gloves and vinyl gloves.

Will Acetone Dissolve Nitrile Gloves?

Acetone is an organic compound with properties similar to those of formic acid. They both dissolve in the presence of moisture. This is true for all organic compounds. The nitrile material for gloves will be degraded in the presence of acetone.

It is not recommended to use nitrile gloves around acetone. When exposed to ketones, they rapidly deteriorate.

Disposable Nitrile Gloves Chemical Resistance

Are all nitrile gloves chemical resistant? Only limited chemical protection is provided with thin nitrile gloves. When handling chemicals in laboratories, these gloves are intended to be used for a short period of time. Always remove and discard gloves immediately after contamination.

Nitrile has good resistance to:

  • fuels
  • petroleum products
  • vegetable oils
  • greases
  • some organic solvents
  • weak acids
  • weak caustics
  • household detergents

Nitrile has poor resistance to:

  • ketones
  • alcohols
  • halogenated hydrocarbons
  • aromatic hydrocarbons
  • esters
  • ethers
  • amines
  • strong acids

Protecting your skin with gloves is an important part of chemical safety. This means that you should be wearing the right type of glove and putting them on in a way that does not expose a part of your skin that is not protected.

There are many types of reactive chemical substances that can damage nitrile gloves and other materials.

Nitrile Gloves For Chemicals

When gloves are exposed to chemicals, they are judged on three criteria.

Breakthrough Time

When the exterior of the glove is exposed to a chemical, it takes this long to sense a substance inside. An outstanding glove is one that lasts more than eight hours.


When a substance comes into contact with a solvent, it undergoes physical alterations such as swelling, splitting, softening, or shrinking. Even if there are no signs of deterioration, a glove will experience chemical breakthrough.

Permeation Rate

Once a liquid has passed through a glove material, this is the pace at which it passes through. Absorption on the surface, diffusion through the product, and desorption on the inside surface all contribute to this rate.

Nitrile Gloves Chemical Resistance Chart 

Not all chemicals react to nitrile gloves in the same way. Some react more than others. The substances on this gloves chemical resistance chart are intended to give you a general idea of what can happen when exposed to different chemicals and how to identify them.

Handling chemicals safely requires proper protective equipment. Use this nitrile glove compatibility guide as ​a quick reference to help you select the best type of protective gloves.

Can Nitrile Gloves Irritate Skin?

Some people experience skin irritation when wearing nitrile gloves. Nitrile rubber is a synthetic rubber used to produce latex-free gloves. People can become allergic to the chemicals added during the manufacturing of nitrile processes. Those with very sensitive skin may need to avoid wearing them at all times.

Are Nitrile Gloves Latex Free?

Do they have latex proteins? The latex proteins found in latex gloves are what cause many allergic reactions. Nitrile gloves do not contain latex proteins. An allergic reaction to the chemicals used to make the gloves will be milder and generally not life-threatening. Only 1% of people experience this problem.

Can You Be Allergic to Nitrile Gloves?

It is not common to develop a skin allergy to nitrile. If you have intolerance to latex gloves, it is smart to watch for any symptoms you might develop from the chemical additives in nitrile gloves. Sensitive skin may especially be prone to irritations caused by these chemicals.

What Causes Nitrile Allergy?

Contact dermatitis is usually caused by an allergic reaction to the rubber accelerators used to manufacture nitrile gloves. These chemicals include thiurams, dithiocarbamates, and mercaptobenzothiazole. They may be the true cause of a red, itchy rash after wearing nitrile rubber gloves.

What is Allergic Contact Dermatitis?

Allergic contact dermatitis is an allergic skin reaction similar to eczema that forms after direct contact with the skin. This is the most common type of simple skin irritation for a variety of occupations requiring gloves.

What is the Purpose of the Chemical Additives?

The accelerators or additive chemicals are used as a catalyst to accelerate the process of turning latex from a liquid to a gel. They are also used for added elasticity and durability.

Do Nitrile Gloves Contain Thiuram?

Yes! Over 50% of contact dermatitis on the hands and wrist are caused by thiuram. This chemical used in the production of gloves is the leading cause of most problems that appear.

Nitrile gloves allergy symptoms include:


Itching and redness on the skin with white raised bumps are the most common first symptom. If redness of hands occurs, wash your hands with soap and use hydrocortisone cream on the area.

Skin Rash

A rash will develop if the hives continue to spread. The rash may be accompanied by swelling of hands.  If you develop a rash from gloves at work, this may be a clear indication. Seek medical care if this does not improve.

Cracked Skin

A more serious intolerance will cause the skin to crack. The cracked skin may burn and sting which could possibly lead to bleeding and infection if not treated properly. This results from prolonged exposure causing a typical reaction.

Other common symptoms include itching, burning sensation in hands, blisters, and sun sensitivity.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis

It is possible to have another type of reaction in the form of irritant contact dermatitis. Symptoms of this type of allergy include lesions, blisters, ulcers, and dry skin. Medical attention may be necessary if this occurs to prevent infection.

Who is Prone to a Synthetic Gloves Reaction?

Healthcare workers, hairdressers, mechanics, and cafeteria workers with a latex allergy who choose a latex-free option instead are all prone to irritation. Dry skin, sweating, friction, and repetitive washing may accelerate the annoyance further.

Prevention of Nitrile Glove Allergy

The risk of an allergic reaction to nitrile gloves can be reduced if proper care is taken when wearing gloves. At the first sign of irritation, take the gloves off immediately and wash your hands with soap and water. Use vinyl gloves in the meantime to see if the problem clears up completely.

Do not wear the gloves for too long. Nitrile gloves, like other types of gloves, can chafe the skin and cause irritation if they are worn longer than necessary. The best way to prevent nitrile allergy reactions is to avoid wearing them.

Glove Allergy Treatment

If a reaction occurs, there are many ways to handle it. If a person is allergic to latex but likes to wear rubber gloves for work, then nitrile gloves are often the best choice. They are thin and flexible enough to get the job done without causing unnecessary pain or discomfort.

If an irritation develops, that is a sign they need to be avoided. Hydrocortisone cream is an effective topical treatment to help clear up the condition. Your doctor may prescribe other topical creams as well.

Can I Skip Wearing Gloves?

Some people will choose to avoid wearing any and all types of gloves, but this can increase risk of infections. Because the skin is not covered when working with unprotected hands, there is a greater risk of bacteria entering the body and causing sickness or disease.

This is why most choose to wear some sort of gloves in order to protect their hands from infections that could occur. Nitrile gloves are a viable option if they cause no allergic reactions. Most people who use them on a regular basis do not complain about itching or redness of the skin.

What Can I Use Instead of Nitrile Gloves?

There are many other glove options available for use in places where nitrile gloves are required, but those who believe they have reactions to nitrile may want to try out other products. Disposable nitrile accelerator-free gloves are worth trying!

Vinyl gloves are also a good alternative. This type of glove will provide some protection against common infections for those who work in conditions where they are likely to come into contact with bacteria and other pathogens. They can be worn underneath nitrile gloves to ensure maximum protection from allergens.

Nitrile and Natural Latex Risk Factors

While there is a chance that a person could be allergic to any type of glove, it seems that most people have problems with nitrile and latex gloves. These are the most common types of medical gloves used in hospitals and by health care workers, but problems can arise with each one.

It is important to remember that even if a person does not think they are allergic to disposable gloves, they should be careful when wearing them.

Symptoms of Nitrile Gloves Allergies

Allergy to nitrile gloves symptoms need to be monitored on a regular basis. The good news is there are many choices available today to ensure your complete health and safety.

Did you know that we carry a full supply of vinyl gloves as an alternative to nitrile gloves? Please contact us if you have any further questions. We are dedicated to your health, safety, and protection.



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