Disposable gloves have many different colors. Manufacturers add a dye that doesn’t impact the strength of the material. You may be wondering what color correlates to which application. Which glove color is right for you? Let’s find out…
Blue – Blue Gloves are the most common across all medical and scientific applications. It matches much of the disposable apparel worn by doctors and nurses. Basic medical exams and nurses who administer vaccines use blue gloves because of ease of supply and inexpensive costs. Blue gloves, unless otherwise listed, don’t protect against chemotherapy drugs and other highly corrosive substances. For this reason, blue gloves are ideal for basic medical and scientific applications.
Black – Black Nitrile Gloves are used by mechanics, law enforcement, and other industrial applications that benefit from seeing white substances easily. Postal workers famously use black nitrile to test illicit materials found in mailrooms. Tattoo artists love black nitrile gloves because of how they easily hide ink stains and can withstand tearing.
Purple – Purple Nitrile Exam Gloves are rated to be suitable for chemotherapy applications. And, they’re friendlier to patients. Some find that blue is too associated with cold hospital exam tables, and find patients are more receptive to purple and pink gloves. Competitor’s purple exam gloves may not be suitable for chemotherapy, but at Harmony, purple gloves are suitable for chemo.
Orange – Orange Nitrile Gloves are loved by auto mechanics for their ability to see dark grease and oil stains. Orange is highly visible in tight spaces as well. Petroleum workers consider Grabber Orange Nitrile Gloves to be a mainstay of their application. These aren’t your average lunch lady gloves. Nitrile is useful against a broad range of chemicals and are 100% latex free.
Pink – Pink Exam Gloves by Generation Pink support the National Breast cancer Foundation. The NBCF has provided over 1.7 million resources to women in need. Every purchase of pink exam gloves supports the NBCF’s mission to educate women on breast health, treat those with cancer, and provide research grants towards a cure. Pink gloves are exclusively used by doctors, nurses, and other health professionals that wish to support the mission of the NBCF.
White – White gloves are typically latex. Why? Natural latex rubber is white in the manufacturing process. Synthetic glove materials like nitrile can be dyed to become any color, but latex remains natural. Latex already inflames allergies and adding a dye may worsen reactions. White gloves, whether latex or nitrile, are useful as a base layer to notice whenever there is a tear when double gloving.
Cleanrooms like to use white gloves because it is critical to see materials on your gloves. EMTs may use white gloves for the same reason, although blood easily displays on all light colored gloves.
The colors of glove used to be simple – latex gloves were a natural white color and latex alternatives were blue. But because color no longer corresponds to quality, i.e. all synthetic glove materials can be made any color, it is up to the consumer to decide. Laboratory and cleanroom environments use different glove colors to prevent cross contamination. For example, a white glove may have a lower ISO rating than a blue glove, allowing employees to easily distinguish the two.
Some employees may be allergic to specific dyes used in nitrile glove manufacturing. Blue #2 is used in medical exam gloves and has reactions in a small portion of the population. To combat this, purple exam gloves are useful are those with allergies to blue dye.
Doctors double glove when they need protection from a tear in highly infectious situations. By wearing a white glove as a base layer, and then putting a second purple exam glove on, the doctor is quickly able to see a tear or abrasion. The white glove will show through the purple layer upon tearing. Double gloving is effective against blood-borne pathogens and other infectious materials. Healthcare professionals wear two layers of glove to adequately protect themselves. Double gloving can reduce exposure to pathogens by as much as 87% according to research.
Looking for disposable gloves? Harmon has 16+ years providing the ideal personal protective equipment to hospitals, cleanrooms, industrial manufacturing centers, and research centers. You can trust Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies to deliver. Unsure what you need? Call us. We have phone support from our headquarters in Garden Grove, California.
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Justin Hines is an author at Harmony Supply Blog. With over a decade of experience working with cleanrooms, controlled environments, and industrial manufacturers, Justin Hines provides content to Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies.