Your hands are one of the busiest parts of your body. They are also the most vulnerable, especially with the threat of the COVID-19 virus still lurking. Everything you touch or handle might be teeming with viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms.
Once you touch your face or other people, you could infect yourself or those around you. Fortunately, there is a way to protect yourself from this risk – wear medical gloves.
This practice is no longer reserved for people in the medical industry. It is also highly recommended for working in beauty salons, schools, mechanic shops, and other settings. Few major things you should know about medical gloves to keep yourself and the people around you safe.
Types of Medical Gloves
Medical gloves are classified into two broad categories: exam gloves and surgical gloves.
Exam gloves are usually worn by healthcare workers and caregivers to prevent the potential spread of infection when handling patients. They are available as sterile or non-sterile.
Surgical gloves offer better precision, sizing, and sensitivity. They are typically used by surgeons and nurses in the operating room and generally only come in sterile form.
Both exam and surgical gloves must be specialized to provide ample protection. They must also be comfortable to wear to ensure optimum functionality.
Materials that Medical Gloves Are Commonly Made Of
There are three materials commonly used for medical gloves: latex, vinyl, and nitrile.
Latex is the most popular and has been in use for many years. It is elastic, durable, and biodegradable. Its thickness may vary from one brand to another, and some have powder while others do not.
Vinyl is made from polyvinyl chloride. It is less durable and tactile, but it is a more affordable option and a good alternative for people who are allergic to latex.
Nitrile is extremely durable and resistant to tearing. It is a good option if you are handling sharp tools and instruments. Nitrile is also resistant to chemicals, which sets it apart from latex and vinyl.
Things to Consider When Buying Medical Gloves
While all medical gloves offer protection, they are not all created equal. Few things you should to look at when choosing which ones to buy.
As a general rule, the thicker the glove, the more protection it offers. However, it is important to note that thicker gloves are a bit harder to work with.
Try to find the balance between protection and touch sensitivity, depending on where you plan to wear the gloves.
Thickness is measured in mils, and most medical gloves are 2 to 15 mils thick.
- Tensile Strength
Tensile strength is measured in mega Pascal or mPa. It is the minimum amount of force that could cause a glove to break. The tensile strength of medical gloves must be higher than 10mPa.
Glove length is the distance from the fingertip to the opening at the wrist. If you need to submerge your hands in a solution, you need to look for longer gloves.
This characteristic determines how far the glove can be stretched without breaking. Medical gloves must have a minimum elongation of 300%.
Medical gloves are your first line of defense against viruses and other microorganisms, but the protection you get will only be as good as the quality of the gloves you wear. Get the right pair of medical gloves using the helpful tips above.