Allergic to latex gloves? We have the answer


An allergy to latex is a serious (but generally not fatal) condition, with symptoms including hives, itching, a stuffy or runny nose, wheezing, chest tightness and breathing difficulties.

In most cases symptoms begin within minutes after exposure to latex containing products, such as disposable gloves. In addition, due to the nature of sweat build up, the skin under the gloves can be red and scaly, leading to eczema. These symptoms are caused by an allergy to the protein found in natural rubber, so naturally avoidance is the best way to prevent any reactions.

The number of people showing these latex allergy-related symptoms has significantly increased over the last decade, so much so that many companies who require disposable gloves are opting for alternatives to latex just to be on the safe side. If you have employees who are allergic to latex, here are the best alternative disposable gloves you can buy.

Nitrile gloves

These gloves are made using nitrile butadiene, which is a synthetic rubber, therefore removing the natural protein that causes the latex allergy. Apart from this difference, these gloves are the same high quality that you need for any practical application – soft, supple and comfortable to wear. While they’re not suitable for use when working with nitric acid or other strong oxidizers, they are perfectly acceptable for use in the healthcare, catering and food preparation industries.

Vinyl gloves

Another naturally latex-free solution are vinyl disposable gloves, which are made using synthetic materials to avoid any allergic reactions. These gloves are very common in the healthcare and catering sectors and due to vinyl having a less elastic nature than nitrile they tend to have a looser fit and smooth, comfortable feel. They’re also a great cost-effective alternative to latex and nitrile options.

Synthetic vinyl gloves

These are relatively new to the market and an upgrade from traditional vinyl gloves. They are made from a blend of polythene and synthetic polymers and feature enhanced flexibility with a high stretch quality to give you a performance similar to latex but without any of the nasty reactions. Work safely and comfortably wearing these disposable gloves.

Polythene disposable gloves

Hygienic and economical, polythene gloves are perfect for short term use when you’re likely to get your hands messy. They don’t offer as much in the way of protection but they are the most economical option when you can’t wear latex. Buy them in bulk from us boxed in cases of 10,000.

What should you do if you think you have a latex allergy?

If you wear a pair of latex gloves and experience any of the milder symptoms detailed above, remove the gloves and wash your hands. An over-the-counter antihistamine (like you would take for a pet, dust or hay fever allergy) should be enough to quell these symptoms. If you have a severe reaction which affects your breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

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