Why Nitrile Gloves are Gaining Popularity

Often the use of vinyl gloves is historical and price driven - your customer has always used them or their supplier always recommended them.

Now, however, there is very little difference in the cost between vinyl and nitrile gloves. The information below is important information to know, pass onto your customer and any active Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department.

Vinyl glove facts:

  • Vinyl disposable gloves are PVC gloves. PVC is known to create large volumes of toxic chemicals when manufactured, like dioxin and vinyl chlorides.
  • 40-50% of a vinyl glove is made up of plasticizers that make the PVC soft enough to wear.
  • The most common plasticizer used in PVC gloves is phthalates, such as DEHP. This substance is currently under much scrutiny for its toxicity. 
  • DINP (Diisononyl phthalate) is a phthalate plasticizer used in the manufacture of many vinyl gloves, was added to the Prop. 65 list of chemicals as a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer.
  • The use of Bisphenol (BPA) and Benzisothiazolinone in the manufacture of vinyl gloves is known to cause allergic reactions and dermatitis with prolonged use.
  • These compounds are mostly soluble in fat and are not bound to the glove molecule - so migrate onto food quite easily.
  • Unlike nitrile and latex gloves the vinyl glove molecules are not cross-linked leading to more holes in the glove film and high levels of bacteria and virus permeation onto the products being handled.
  • Disposing of vinyl gloves is also an ongoing problem. The PVC takes a very long time to break down (many decades), and if incinerated large amounts of toxic emissions are generated.
  • All the materials to make PVC gloves are non-renewables namely oil.
Vinyl food safety Gloves and Nitrile disposable Gloves molecular structure


  • Carry a very low allergy rate of less than 1% of users. LOW DERMATM nitrile gloves, such as Eagle's Sensitive and Derma2, are available now to lower the allergy rate further to negligible.
  • The cost of nitrile gloves have reduced significantly this decade and have grown in popularity in the food processing, medical, industrial and agricultural sectors.
  • Historically nitrile gloves have not had the level of “stretch” associated with latex gloves. Recently, the advances in the formulation of nitrile gloves, such as the Eagle Protect FineTOUGH gloves, has closed the gap between nitrile and latex to a minimal difference.
  • High chemical and puncture resistance
  • Nitrile gloves biodegradability is good
  • Nitrile glove use around the world is up 10% a year every year because of the fore mentioned features.  

Implications to the user, the environment and importantly the food products with which the vinyl gloves are in contact are well documented. With minimal or no increase in cost, these issues can be mitigated with the use of nitrile gloves.

To learn more about high-quality safety disposables and how you can better protect your customers, employees and business from contamination, request a call with an Eagle Protect expert today.

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