Latex allergies are often of high concern, especially in the disposable glove industry. One of the most essential factors in finding the proper glove for the job is determining if the user has a latex allergy of concern. Allergies are rare, as they affect only about 1% of the general population and 8% to 12% of healthcare and medical workers. Latex allergies can become prevalent in those who are exposed to the material more frequently. That means those in the healthcare field are more susceptible, as a large number of medical-grade gloves are made of latex.
Though the allergy is not common, the severity of the reaction can be fatal. Even if one in 1,000 people are potentially affected, it is not a risk worth taking. Selling latex disposable gloves requires a balance of being able to deliver customers the gloves desired while also cautioning about the potential allergy risks.
Latex gloves deliver unparalleled comfort, fit, and feel in addition to high tactile sensitivity. There is, however, the potential that the glove can cause discomfort, or worse. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. It can be triggered by those wearing the gloves or someone in proximity to the wearer of the glove.
More recently the use of latex disposable gloves has diminished, as there are other excellent choices. Nitrile butadiene rubber is a synthetic substitute that features similar fit, feel, and comfort without the concerns of aggravating allergies. Due to this, it has become the top disposable glove material among professionals in most industries.
However, there are specific use cases where latex is still the best option. Nail salon technicians prefer to use latex gloves because it not only stands up better to the acetone and chemicals used in manicures and pedicures, but also because it provides a tight fit. This is not only ideal for standard nail offerings but also when using precision instruments to create small and intricate designs.
Latex gloves have also had popularity in restaurant use; however, they really should not be used around food. Wearing latex disposable gloves while preparing or serving food can put those consuming the food at risk. Talk to your customers about switching to nitrile, as it is a much safer alternative not only for those preparing but also for those consuming the food.
The use of latex disposable gloves is not gone by any means, but for all intents and purposes the safety concern should be at the forefront. Strongly consider converting your use of latex disposable gloves to nitrile for durable barrier protection without concern for allergy.