Nitrile exam gloves have gained market share due to it durable and synthetic properties. For this reason, the medical industry has recognized that nitrile exam gloves are strong, latex-free examination gloves. The decision to move towards a latex-free environment is associated with the risk of developing latex allergies and sensitivity. In the past, nitrile gloves have been very expensive and hospitals resorted to vinyl synthetic materials to create a latex-free environment. Since medical exam gloves are disposable, you can imagine how many gloves a hospital goes through. Today, nitrile remains more expensive compared to latex gloves or vinyl gloves, but is more affordable. As demand increased, the number of suppliers has grown and economies of scale have created a more efficient method of manufacturing nitrile exam gloves.

Nitrile exam gloves are medical grade meaning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitor and set guidelines of quality for imports into the United States. The function of the FDA is important to ensure the nitrile exam gloves can be used for medical use. Due to the FDA’s role, hospitals know their gloves will protect against blood-borne pathogens and meet claims made by manufacturers.

Protection against chemotherapy drugs is an example of claims manufacturers make on their nitrile examination gloves. Note, not all medical nitrile gloves are meant to be used with chemotherapy drugs and consultation is recommended to determine what drugs have been tested for. This does not mean nitrile gloves protect equally well against all chemicals. In general, nitrile gloves protect well against oil-based substances while latex protects well against water-based substances. If you are not sure, ask the manufacturer of the exam glove. In addition, MSDS sheets for all chemicals will recommend when to use disposable nitrile gloves.