Nitrile Gloves: An Alternative to Latex

3 Mins read

There are a multitude of gloves available on the market, such as latex, vinyl, and polyethylene. However, nitrile gloves have become important as we learn more about latex allergies. Nitrile gloves, which contain nitrile butadiene rubber, a man-made substance, which contains no natural rubber (ie, latex).

They are made of

Nitrile gloves are made by combining the chemicals acrylonitrile and butadiene in order to create a synthetic rubber called nitrile. Nitrile is entirely latex and protein free. They are an important tool for people who have allergies to the latex proteins in latex gloves.

However, nitrile gloves do not always stack up when compared to latex gloves. For example, latex gloves are sometimes preferred by doctors and nurses while in the operating room.


Nitrile gloves lack the same extreme elasticity that latex gloves are widely known for, making them more difficult to fit your hand. This is due to the chemical compounds of nitrile. This is why they are not always appropriate in situations that must remain 100% sterile. A surgeon would not want any wayward liquids or chemicals slipping into his gloves during a procedure. 

Suitable for…

Nitrile gloves are most suited to situations where a glove that is resistant to hydrocarbons is needed. They are especially resistant to oils, fuels, and solvents, which can break down latex gloves. Oftentimes, nitrile gloves are used in situations where the wearer may not know if someone else has a latex allergy, like in a dentist’s office.

Industrial usage of nitrile gloves

Some industries find the use of nitrile gloves to be paramount. For example, mechanics typically consider latex gloves to be useless, as latex is dissolved and broken down when in contact with oil, grease, gasoline, or diesel fuel. While getting grease all over your hands may be part of the job, over time it can wreak havoc on a mechanic’s hands, which are important tools in their work. Nitrile gloves can tolerate high temperatures that may occur when working under the hood of a car, and are resistant to a multitude of chemicals. This is why the use of nitrile gloves has been implemented in many mechanic shops. Additionally, in a field where you will inevitably get dirty, nitrile gloves can be used to keep clean, such as a mechanic needing to step into the office — when they take off their gloves, they can ensure the shop stays in the shop.

Other industries, such as day care centers, restaurants, and hair salons also use nitrile gloves for many of the same reasons. However, an individual may use them in public places in order to resist germs that may be lurking. 

Ideal alternative to latex gloves

Nitrile gloves are a wonderful alternative to latex gloves because, while being less stretchy, they are useful for people with latex allergies, those working in industries where they may require gloves, and the casual user.

Check out our selection of nitrile gloves here

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