Materials: Vinyl

Overview

Designed for short-term use, vinyl gloves offer a cost-effective alternative to latex while providing an effective temporary barrier against biological contaminants.

Derived from synthetic PVC resins, vinyl gloves also do not pose the same allergy risk as natural rubber alternatives, making them an attractive option to companies concerned about exposure to customers and employees.

Stretch vinyl gloves, often incorrectly referred to as simply synthetic gloves, are more durable and flexible than traditional vinyl for added tensile strength and elongation. These gloves remain among the highest quality alternatives, in both comfort and protection, to latex.

Grades

Vinyl gloves are available in exam grade, foodservice grade, and industrial grade. Vinyl gloves are typically non-sterile, but sterile vinyl gloves do exist.

Quality Standards

ASTM D5250 is widely regarded as the standard for quality of examination grade vinyl gloves. Exam grade vinyl gloves are also regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (21 CFR 800.20).

When in direct contact with food, glove components must comply with the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

Applications

Vinyl gloves are an ideal choice for applications demanding frequent changes, such as in foodservice and non-surgical healthcare procedures, because they provide reasonable protection and relative economy.

Colors

Vinyl gloves are most commonly semi-transparent in color, but are sold in a variety of colors. Use of different colors is especially common in foodservice to prevent cross-contamination.

Composition

Vinyl gloves are produced of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of products ranging from clothing to building materials.

Increasing scientific evidence indicates that Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (as known as DEHP and DOP), a chemical commonly found in vinyl gloves, may pose a significant health risk. While the US Government has not banned use of the chemical in gloves, many leading manufacturers have proactively removed the chemical from their products.

Country of Origin

China controls the vast majority of the world’s vinyl glove production, largely due to its competitive labor costs and attractive manufacturing environment.