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Industrial and Medical Gloves: Know the Difference

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When you work in the medical field, whether in an emergency room or a dental office, you always want to have the right type of disposable glove on hand. Many industries outside of medicine require the use of disposable gloves, giving rise to the creation of disposable industrial gloves. Now that there are different grades of glove, how do you know which one is right for your practice?

Don’t Believe the Myth

At Nitrile Gloves, we’ve become aware of a specific myth circulating the medical industry: industrial gloves are better than medical gloves. We get it — many people think that industrial gloves are stronger than normal medical exam gloves, and to an extent, they’re right. Industrial gloves were designed to withstand the unique demands of car mechanics, factory workers, and individuals working with caustic chemicals. The design of these industrial nitrile gloves provides more than adequate protection against tool slippage and can withstand exposure to corrosion longer than most medical gloves. However, these gloves are called “industrial” for a reason; they’re better suited to industrial applications, not an emergency room.

Different Standards for Different Uses

The FDA works to establish clear requirements for all medical equipment used in hospitals and medical practices. All medical gloves marketed and sold under that category must meet the FDA’s guidelines and requirements for quality and durability in order to earn the FDA’s endorsement. The FDA tests the gloves thoroughly for the following:

  • Puncture resistance
  • Tear resistance
  • Tension
  • Chemical resistance

The endorsement gives medical practitioners a certain peace of mind when using a specific nitrile glove in surgery or exams. However, it is important to note that a nitrile exam glove that does not meet the FDA’s regulations is likely still safe to use. Even so, it shouldn’t be used in a medical capacity.

Are Medical Gloves Stronger Than Industrial Gloves?

This is both true and false at the same time. Medical gloves are stronger than industrial gloves when it comes to using them for a medical exam or in surgery. Remember, the only difference between the two is the certification by the FDA. Industrial gloves may be made of the same materials, but fail to meet their requirements to earn the certification. That does not mean you should choose a medical exam glove over an industrial glove if you’re working as a mechanic or in a factory.

Why Work with an Industrial Glove?

Industrial gloves, like our Gloveworks® HD Orange Nitrile Glove are made of a thick nitrile and often have textured patterns in the palm for better grip with less fatigue. When you’re working in a setting that exposes your hands to grease, oil, and other slippery substances, the textured grip can make your job easier and result in less muscle fatigue at the end of the day. These gloves will provide adequate protection against the common chemicals and substances you come in contact with on a daily basis.

No matter what kind of glove you’re looking for, you’ll find the perfect fit at Nitrile Gloves. Browse our selection today and stock up on the best nitrile gloves for your business.