As hospitals and other healthcare facilities have increasingly moved from latex exam gloves to nitrile exam gloves, skin irritation and allergy to non-latex gloves has also increased. To identify individuals with hypersensitivity to nitrile gloves, a new skin prick test has been developed by Dr. Santhosh Kumar of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. “If the patient is positive,” says, Dr. Kumar, “we tell them to avoid nitrile gloves,” and he recommends vinyl gloves as an option.
While vinyl gloves may be an option in some circumstances, they lack the elastic quality of nitrile and latex gloves, and do not provide the same level of protection. For instance, vinyl gloves are not approved for handling chemotherapy drugs. So are vinyl gloves the only option for workers that are sensitive to nitrile gloves?
Much research has been done over the past decade into the cause of skin irritation and allergy to non-latex gloves. Studies have shown that the sulfur-based chemical accelerators commonly used in the production of nitrile and other non-latex gloves can cause type IV allergy. A new generation of nitrile gloves is now available – gloves free of these chemical accelerators. The new gloves may be a more acceptable alternative to traditional nitrile gloves for many healthcare workers and others that must wear hand protection.
HandPRO FreeStyle1100 and Scion700 Nitrile Exam Gloves with Low Dermatitis Potential are made from this new, purer nitrile formulation, and are accelerator free. These gloves offer wearers the comfort they expect from a nitrile exam glove, as well as improved strengthand a better wet grip.