Know Your Glove Materials: Part III Vinyl

The second generation of disposable gloves, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or vinyl, followed latex gloves.

As a result of the growing awareness of HIV in the 1980s, the health care industry needed a disposable glove to create a barrier between medical professionals and bloodborne pathogens. This gave rise to latex gloves but due to a number of people developing latex allergies, vinyl gloves were developed as an alternative. Now, the wholesale vinyl gloves are an industry changer.

Vinyl gloves are popular in the janitorial/sanitation, food processing, professional salon and food service industries.

What is vinyl?
Individuals may be more accustomed to seeing this synthetic glove material in another form – PVC piping – but it has had many uses.

Scientists accidentally discovered vinyl through various experiments carried out during the 19th century. German inventor Friedrich Heinrich August Klatte first patented the material in 1913, when he found a way to use sunlight to polymerize vinyl chloride. Since that time, researchers determined which additives to include in the material to make it more flexible. Besides disposable gloves, vinyl is used to make bottles, toys, credit cards, gutters and a long list of other products.

"Vinyl gloves are used in the food processing and food service industries, among other industries."

What are the benefits of vinyl gloves?
Vinyl gloves are optimal for tasks that have a short duration, which is why they are more popular in certain industries. In food processing, for instance, employees must change their gloves each time they change tasks. As such, they do not need a glove that has superior durability. Vinyl gloves are more cost effective than latex or nitrile while offering the appropriate tear and puncture resistance for industries where they are used.

Furthermore, vinyl offers chemical resistance, which is why these gloves are popular in the janitorial/sanitation sector. Gloves must be changed often in this industry as well, and employees need barriers against bloodborne pathogens and the cleaners and solvents they use. For example, vinyl gloves can guard against hydrofluoric acid, nitrilotriacetate and phosphoric acid, all of which can be found in cleaning products.

One exciting innovation is antimicrobial vinyl gloves, which prevent the growth of microorganisms by disrupting cell walls so the microorganisms cannot grow on the glove. This feature is built into the glove material rather than sprayed on so that users cannot rub or wash away the additional protection. This is a key benefit in food processing industry, where there are dangers of contamination as a result of poor hygiene and foodborne diseases.

Wholesale vinyl gloves can be purchased in powdered and powder-free as well as industrial-and exam-grade options. There are also blue vinyl gloves, which can serve two purposes. The color acts a way to avoid cross contamination when food processing and food service employees are switching between tasks and makes the glove easier to spot in the event of a glove loss. Not sure if vinyl gloves are best for your industry or application? Talk to a glove expert today.