Two factors led to the decline of chloroprene glove availability in 2020-2021.
First, the surge of demand for medical grade gloves of all varieties caused shortages down stream. That’s why some tattoo artists still have trouble finding their favorite black nitrile glove from 2019. Second, there is a shortage of raw materials.
Still, chloroprene eliminates the worry of latex allergies and is resistant to different chemicals than nitrile.
We recommend nitrile or latex for most applications. But, chloroprene has exceptional chemical resistance (see the chart). Remember, all medical grade rubbers provide protection against bodily fluids, grime, and bacteria.
What is Chloroprene?
Chloroprene is a synthetic monomer, a precursor to polychloroprene used in manufacturing of disposable gloves.
Polychloroprene, the 3D structure pictured, is melted and molded into gloves. The material is designed to mimic the qualities of natural latex.
Dupont patented polychloroprene and branded it Neoprene. Gloves labeled as chloroprene or neoprene are the same material.
3 Reasons to Try Chloroprene
1. 🏋 Strong and Durable
Chloroprene has a tensile strength rating of 10 Mpa before aging, and retains that same strength after aging. Elongation after aging is 650% verses 750% before. What does this mean? The glove wont tear under extended wear, and it conforms to the fit of your hand.
2. 💆 Comfortable
A 6.0 mil chloroprene glove is more comfortable than an equally thick nitrile glove. And, you wont compromise dexterity. If the gloves aren’t comfortable, workers could be exposed to harmful materials due wanting relief from irritation. Understandable.
Nurses that bought from Harmony have reported that some hospital administers wont accommodate their latex allergies. Unfortunately, the nurse ended up brining their own chloroprene gloves. However, we think it is unfair that nurses have to buy their own PPE. So, we recommend trying nylon glove liners to protect your skin from irritation.
3. ☢️ Broad Chemical Resistance
Chloroprene has exceptional chemical resistance. You can see the full chart here. And, chloroprene gloves sold at Harmony are produced in ISO 9001 cleanroom environments, meaning you can expect consistent protection.
🤔 Why not chloroprene?
If you want a natural material not designed by chemists, then consider latex.
Only if allergies aren’t a concern. But, powder free gloves have been known to reduce reactions and increase comfort during extended lengths. Lastly, a good knit liner can increase a glove’s lifespan.
Can’t decide what you need?
Harmony recommends nitrile gloves for most applications. But, thick neoprene rubber gloves are surprisingly comfortable after extended shifts. Nurses like using nylon glove liners for extra protection, comfort, and cost savings.
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Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies has 16 years of providing customer support to cleanroom operators, safety managers, and purchasing agents. Harmony stocks products for cleanrooms, critical environments, manufacturing facilities, research centers, and more. Anywhere an OSHA, NIOSH, FDA regulation affects, a Harmony product is present!
With over a decade of experience, Harmony’s Supply Blog provides information to keep your facilities in compliance. Furthermore, Harmony posts engaging, helpful content for consumers.
Tate Alexander is a contributing author at Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies. Tate values thoughtful research, insightful writing, and a good Oxford comma.