What is in latex?
There are two types of latex, natural and synthetic. Natural latex is the result of sap being collected from a rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). The latex is then treated and prepared to enable it to be processed to make natural rubber latex gloves. Natural rubber latex offers flexibility, durability and good resistance to hazardous substances, making it the preferred choice for many who do not suffer with an allergy to the material.
What is synthetic latex?
Synthetic latex often known as Polyisoprene is a synthetic natural rubber, whereby the natural rubber is chemically polymerized, so it has all the properties of natural rubber latex but without the latex protein. Further synthetic materials are made from various petroleum based monomers (including nitrile and neoprene) and polyvinyl chloride (vinyl and stretch vinyl).
What are latex gloves used for?
Latex gloves (sterile and non-sterile) are used for both medical and PPE purposes; whereby they provide infection control / cross contamination in a medical application (for both user and patient) and hand protection from particulates, detergents and low-risk chemicals in an industrial / general environment (for the user). Latex gloves are durable and conform to the hand providing a close fit; this enhances the dexterity and feel for the user. Latex gloves also provide a range of grip depending on the surface texture and treatment (additional chlorination of the glove provides a smoother silky feel compare to a single chlorinated glove which is has a tackier feel and greater grip).
Are latex gloves acid and chemical resistant?
Latex gloves do provide a good resistance to many acids and bases; however, this is dependent on the thickness of the glove and so breakthrough performance must be checked prior to use.
Are latex gloves anti-static?
Latex gloves are not anti-static and ESD will build up with use. Latex is non-conductive and should protection against electrical shock be required then a certified electricians glove must be used.
Can latex gloves be recycled?
While some latex glove brands offer a recycling service, latex gloves are non-biodegradable and therefore should be disposed of at approved landfill or by high temperature incineration normally with medical waste. Ensure that disposal is conducted in accordance with local authority and national guidelines.
Why are latex gloves powdered?
Latex gloves are available in both powdered and powder free styles. Powder helps with donning especially when the hands are damp, however, the powder does create complications and has been banned for use within the NHS. In addition the powder can carry the latex protein and exacerbate issues for those allergic to latex. Powder free latex gloves are polymer coated and surface treated to help with donning.
Are latex gloves safe for food handling?
Yes, latex gloves can be used for food handling but it would be advised that powder free varieties are chosen to avoid contamination of food. Latex gloves do offer excellent flexibility and dexterity, however, because of latex allergy issues it would be recommended to use nitrile, vinyl or polyethylene gloves.
How do I know if I have a latex allergy?
The symptoms of a latex allergy differ from person to person and with the severity of the allergy, but common issues that arise include hives, itching, redness immediately and in more severe cases breathlessness. If you spot these issues, seek medical guidance to confirm the allergy and avoid using latex gloves; instead opt for nitrile or synthetic varieties. We stock a wide range of both nitrile gloves and synthetic gloves here on the site to ensure you stay safe and comfortable.
What size latex gloves do I need?
Most latex gloves are available in a range of sizes, from XS to XL. It is a good idea to purchase gloves a little larger than required to ensure they are not overstretched and making them more susceptible to tearing or punctures.