Disposable Glove Supply Chain Only as Strong as Its Weakest Link

shipping containers disposable gloves nitrile vinyl latex
In these times of personal protective equipment shortages, with prices rising and orders backed up for months, it can be helpful to examine the worldwide disposable glove supply chain that carries products from Southeast Asia factories to end-users. There are myriad factors that, either collectively or individually, can cause a breakdown in supply.

It all starts with raw materials. If you are making latex gloves, you need natural rubber. For nitrile, the basic ingredients are two monomers, acrylonitrile and butadiene. For PVC, it’s polyvinyl chloride monomers.

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Take the Long View Toward Rising Disposable Glove Prices

Workers on the disposable glove production line. Photo by Song Qiuju/123rf

Thanks to COVID-19, prices for personal protective equipment, especially disposable gloves, have been on the rise as supply suffers acute shortages. In many cases, price jumps have been astronomical, and in the next 45 to 90 days, prices for all gloves will likely double. PVC prices may go even higher, delivering a serious blow to the affordability of vinyl gloves.

In simplest terms, it is a matter of overwhelming demand and a supply chain that cannot keep up. Disposable gloves have for years been viewed as a basic commodity that is widely available, but for many reasons, there has always been a limited manufacturing capacity. Glove makers and the supply chain were not prepared to deal with the sudden spike in demand.

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Disposable gloves will play essential role in reopened economy

In the reopened economy, gloves will be required almost universally for restaurants.
Restrictions placed on businesses during the COVID-19 shutdown have been eased, at least partially. What business and governmental leaders are learning, however, according to The Wall Street Journal, is the new economic reality in the age of coronavirus: Being open for business is almost as hard as being closed.

Facing higher costs to keep workers and customers safe, businesses are forced to make significant changes to their operating models to maintain a profit, the Journal reported. Some are cutting services and jobs; others are raising prices, including imposing coronavirus-related fees aimed at getting customers to share some of the expenses.

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COVID-19 Will Keep Driving Demand for Disposable Gloves

Glove demand will only continue to grow with COVID-19.
In the pre-COVID-19 world, disposable glove use was always steadily on the rise, averaging almost 10% growth a year. Safety awareness has spread well beyond the medical sector and into industrial environments.

Due to the pandemic, all industries are investing heavily in hygiene and safety for their employees. Demand for disposable gloves is also increasing among ordinary consumers, many of whom have taken to wearing them in public as an extra safety precaution. Continue reading “COVID-19 Will Keep Driving Demand for Disposable Gloves”

Unprecedented Demand Beyond COVID-19 Drives Glove Industry Growth

disposable gloves

The global disposable gloves market is experiencing explosive growth. Today’s overwhelming demand for personal protective equipment is expected to continue unabated as glove manufacturers in Southeast Asia struggle to keep up with orders.

Health-related fears driven by the novel coronavirus are of course a major factor in the industry’s current economic boom. But beyond that, the use of disposable gloves, especially in the industrial safety sector, has been steadily on the rise.

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#NotWithoutGloves: The Danger of Dry Cleaning Chemicals

We host our annual #NotWithoutGloves social media contest for several reasons: to have a bit of fun with our followers and to highlight the need for disposable glove use. While many contest submissions focus on dirty jobs and rank substances no one chooses to touch without gloves, there are more dangerous substances that require disposable gloves – chemicals. Workers in the dry cleaning industry need to be particularly careful as they come into frequent contact with a harsh chemical called perchloroethylene.

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The Dangers of Nail Salons

It has been more than a week since Sara went back to work at her small nail salon in North Seattle. After experiencing her fourth miscarriage, she took the time off to grieve. The other technicians she works with are sympathetic upon her arrival; Ms. Otavalo at the front desk lost her would-be third child last spring. Monica is mother to a three-year-old son who is developmentally behind in every way. These are not isolated incidents: nail technicians in every state have been speaking up about their failing health and how it is affecting their families.

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