Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies

Nitrile Glove Allergy Guide

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves are commonly used in hospitals, cleanrooms, restaurants, and industry to protect the wearer from hazards. Allergies to nitrile gloves are a factor to consider when outfitting your team with disposable gloves.

Can you be allergic to nitrile gloves?

Nitrile is a synthetic latex alternative that may cause allergic reactions in a minority of people. You may not be allergic to nitrile, but a chemical additive or dye is used in the manufacturing process.

Are nitrile gloves latex-free?

Yes! Nitrile gloves are 100% latex-free and are suitable for those with latex allergies. There are more differences between latex and nitrile, such as chemical resistance, tactile sensitivity, and tensile strength.

Nitrile gloves are free of all latex proteins and nitrile allergies are 5x less common than latex allergies.

What causes nitrile allergies?

Nitrile glove allergies are caused by rubber accelerators such as thiurams, mercaptobenzothiazole, dithiocarbamates, and other additives. The most common symptoms include a red and itchy rash after wearing nitrile gloves for an extended period.

Can nitrile allergies cause contact dermatitis? 

Contact dermatitis is a skin condition similar in effect to eczema. Contact dermatitis is common among people who wear gloves for extended periods of time but can be prevented by wearing gloves designed for people with eczema.

Can nitrile gloves cause skin irritation?

Yes! Less than 4% of people who wear nitrile gloves for an extended time experience skin irritation. However, you are more likely to experience irritation if you wear gloves for hours without changing them. 

What is the purpose of chemical additives?

Chemical additives change the consistency of nitrile in the manufacturing process, allowing the rubber to take shape. Some additives may increase the material’s tensile strength, durability, or texture.

Dyes are commonly used to change a glove’s color, but most people don’t find this to cause an allergic reaction.

What are the symptoms of nitrile glove allergies?

Hives, a skin rash, cracked and irritated skin, and flaking are common symptoms. If you take off a nitrile glove and feel a wave of relief, you might be allergic. You can get an allergy test at your local doctor’s office to be sure. 

Excessive sweating when wearing nitrile gloves may be a sign of an allergy. Try gloves for sweaty hands if you want a nitrile alternative.

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