5 Misconceptions About Gloves

Ask GIA Blog

Glove Intelligent Assistant

Last week we discussed a bit about the history of gloves. Today, we’ll be discussing some popular misconceptions about gloves.

1. Gloves can protect from ALL chemicals

Gloves are very important forms of personal protection in working environments. However, there is no general glove that can protect against all chemicals. Therefore, it’s increasingly pertinent that you abide by industry safety protocols in selecting the right material glove. All of our gloves list the chemical permeation information on the product pages. This shows how long it takes for each chemical to permeate the glove, or to put it in simpler terms, how fast the chemical can pass through the glove material. Permeation is different from a tear or chemical breach in the glove. Different chemicals can permeate at different rates. It’s important to understand that no glove material will be impervious to any chemical forever, which is another reason disposable gloves are a necessity.

2. Save money with cheaper gloves

As mentioned with misconception 1, it’s important to change gloves often for the best chance of protection against harsh chemicals. Many would then think to save money by using and purchasing cheaper gloves. As, you want to spend the least amount of money per pair of gloves since most people go through multiple pairs daily. However, cheaper gloves may not be as durable, and more prone to penetration or tearing. Different manufacturers use different fillers and cheaper ones may use lower quality raw materials. This would mean even more frequent glove changes than usual. It would further disrupt work time, and as the popular saying goes, time is money.


3. All gloves are equal

Following from the previous misconception, not all gloves are equal. Most obviously, different material gloves will result in gloves meant for different purposes. Latex offers great dexterity and flexibility, nitrile offers great chemical protection, and vinyl is able to withstand higher temperatures. Each material results in different glove thickness too. The different properties of each material inevitably regulate them for different uses and industries. Gloves are not actually 100% nitrile, vinyl, or latex either. Manufacturers use different fillers and accelerants when processing nitrile, vinyl, or latex. There are also different washing processes. Often low quality raw materials will lead to more cases of contact dermatitis. Thus, quality can vastly differ between brands. SW prides itself by offering the most competitive products in the industry. We follow multiple industry standards, from the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), EN (European Standards), and ISO (International Standardization Organization).

4. One Size Fits All

As we came to the conclusion that not all gloves are the same. The same can be said for sizing. Even though gloves are flexible, they come in different sizes. Proper fitting is imperative to preventing injuries and protecting oneself from hazards. Gloves that are too small for you can strain small hand muscles, which can lead to hand fatigue and discomfort. To test whether or not the fit is too small, don a pair of gloves and stretch out your fingers. Using your other hand press the center of your palm, test if there is resistance and/or an air pocket between the glove and your palm. If there is, it’s likely too small. To get an estimate of the correct size glove, measure the widest part of your hand, approximately the saddle of the thumb and index finger to the opposite side of your hand. For SW glove sizes, a size small is 7in, a medium is 8in, a large is 9in, an extra large is 10in, a double extra large is 11in, and a triple extra large is 12in.


5. Nitrile gloves are allergy free

The final misconception that will be discussed is about nitrile allergies. It’s widely known that many people can be allergic to latex. Latex allergies are the very reason that the FDA has banned the sale and use of powdered gloves. However, nitrile can cause allergies as well. Nitrile allergies usually show up as contact dermatitis and are caused by reactions to the accelerants used to manufacture nitrile, a synthetic rubber. Fortunately, the most severe case of nitrile allergies is only contact dermatitis (skin irritation). Consumers should take care to use gloves that undergo strict quality control and those that abstain from harsh accelerants. As for SW, skin safety is a main priority with the manufacturing of our gloves. In fact, SW products are endorsed by the Skin Health Alliance to have low dermatitis potential. The SHA is an independent dermatological accreditation organization that has evaluated other larger brands such as Tide, Gillette, and Dyson.

Hopefully with these misconceptions debunked, consumers can have good criteria for deciding which products to purchase.