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PPE and Safety Apparel

PPE and Safety Apparel

Differences Between Cleanroom Nitrile Gloves vs. Medical Exam Nitrile Gloves

All gloves are not the same. There are many different types of gloves and each type is designed with a specific purpose in mind.

Choosing the appropriate glove for the job is more important than you might think. Selecting the right glove is essential for the safety of the user since one purpose of the glove is to prevent what goes on inside the glove such as hand injuries and contamination. The other purpose of the glove is to protect what is taking place outside of the glove which is what is being handled during the application.

Cleanrooms and medical facilities are two places that utilize these gloves. Each uses gloves for different applications and therefore need to use the glove designed with its specific purpose in mind. In this blog, we’ll go over the differences between medical exam and cleanroom nitrile gloves.

What are gloves for cleanrooms?

Work environments that should remain void of dust, chemical vapors, airborne microbes, aerosol particles, static electricity and other pollutants are considered cleanrooms. If special precautions are not taken in this environment, then the application can become compromised.

Since the need to avoid these contaminants is essential, there are gloves specifically designed with this in mind. Cleanroom gloves fall under strict guidelines so that they are safe in sterile environments that are controlled. Cleanroom gloves are made of nitrile since they reduce the transfer of particles in both dry and wet settings.

What are the different grades and classifications of cleanroom gloves?

Cleanrooms have various classifications depending on their application. Two of these classifications include the following:

  • ISO 100 cleanroom gloves

A Class ISO 100 cleanroom means that there can’t be any more than 100 particles 5/10 mm or greater allowed in the air by a cubic foot.

  • ISO 1000 cleanroom gloves

A Class ISO 1000 cleanroom means that no more than 1000 particles  5/10 mm or greater allowed in the air based on a cubic foot.

As the numbers decrease, the environment becomes more sensitive.

What is a medical exam nitrile glove?

Exam gloves are used in medical settings. Their purpose is to protect the patient and the medical personnel from the transfer of microbes, bacteria, and any other harmful substances that could cause harm during a medical procedure.

There are a few factors to consider when choosing medical gloves. These include the following:

  • Thickness
  • Durability
  • Mobility
  • Cost-effectiveness due to changing them out after every procedure
  • Ability to put on and remove quickly
  • Material - some people are allergic to latex and prefer nitrile gloves which are also more puncture resistant
  • Size

Are there different grades of nitrile gloves?

There are different grades of nitrile gloves. Nitrile gloves have two major grades. These include the following:

  • Industrial grade 

Industrial grade gloves are designed for those who work with harsh chemicals. Industrial grade gloves also have a high resistance to punctures. This is very beneficial when handling sharp objects such as syringes and needles. The thickness varies in these gloves usually ranging from six to eight millimeters. The thicker the glove, the more protection it provides from hazardous chemicals and environmental hazards.

  • Medical grade

Medical grade gloves are used by healthcare workers who are more likely to come into contact with contamination from bodily fluids. These gloves protect from different contaminating infectious diseases and from direct contact with blood-borne pathogens. These gloves are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

How are cleanroom gloves different from exam gloves?

The biggest difference between cleanroom and medical exam gloves is that cleanroom gloves have to follow more stringent ISO standards than exam gloves. Cleanrooms adhere to ISO standards while medical exam gloves fall under the FDA.

The primary purpose of wearing gloves in a controlled or medical environment is for protection from injuries and to prevent contamination. Therefore, choosing the most appropriate glove is one of the most important cleanroom and medical consumable selections. Ask a Lab Pro specialist how we can help you find the best Cleanroom glove for your laboratory needs.

Lab Pro offers a large variety of gloves made out of various materials, in a variety of sizes, and for all types of laboratories. For over 40 years, Lab Pro Inc. has been committed to delivering the highest quality chemicals, lab equipment, distance learning kits, lab supplies, and cleanroom PPE apparel to medical device companies and laboratories worldwide. To learn more, visit the biggest Lab Supply showroom in California, or contact us online or at 888-452-2776.

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