Get the right gloves….Latex or Nitrile?


Bodyguard Powder Free Latex Gloves
Bodyguard Powder Free Latex Gloves

Natural rubber latex is a milky sap-like substance produced by the rubber tree called Hevea brasiliensis, found in Southeast Asia, India and South America. When the trunks of these rubber trees are tapped, they produce latex. This latex is then collected and used in manufacturing.

Latex gloves are a good all round glove for everyday tasks that require a high degree of feel and sensitivity. The popularity of latex gloves stems from a good overall strength, they are generally favoured for their tactile properties and resistance to a wide range of chemical solutions.

  • Great strength and sensitivity
  • Good chemical resistance
  • Textured fingers offer excellent grip

Some people are allergic to Latex-find out why?



Bodyguard Nitrile Gloves
Bodyguard Nitrile Gloves

NBR is Nitrile Butadiene Rubber. The uses of nitrile rubber include disposable non-latex gloves, automotive transmission belts, hoses, O rings, gaskets, oil seals, V belts, synthetic leather, printer’s roller, and as cable jacketing; NBR latex can also be used in the preparation of adhesives and as a pigment binder.

Nitrile gloves are 3 three times stronger and puncture resistant than natural rubber gloves.

    • Nitrile provides a stronger barrier of protection and offers greater chemical resistance
    • Have a lower resistance to friction, making them easier to put on and take off your hands
    • Do not contain any natural rubber latex, so they can be used by anyone with latex allergies
    • Even though they are disposable, nirtile gloves can usually be worn more than once because of their superior puncture and tear resistance
    • For countless industries, nitrile gloves are an ideal choice because they can offer numerous more benefits than either latex or vinyl for many applications.

Glove Chart

TypeAdvantagesDisadvantagesFor Protection Against
Natural rubberLow cost, good physical properties, dexterityPoor vs. oils, greases, organics. Frequently imported; may be poor qualityBases, alcohols, dilute water solutions; fair vs. aldehydes, ketones.
Natural rubber blendsLow cost, dexterity, better chemical resistance than natural rubber vs. some chemicalsPhysical properties frequently inferior to natural rubberSame as natural rubber
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)Low cost, very good physical properties, medium cost, medium chemical resistancePlasticizers can be stripped; frequently imported may be poor qualityStrong acids and bases, salts, other water solutions, alcohols
NeopreneMedium cost, medium chemical resistance, medium physical propertiesNAOxidizing acids, anilines, phenol, glycol ethers
NitrileLow cost, excellent physical properties, dexterityPoor vs. benzene, methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, many ketonesOils, greases, aliphatic chemicals, xylene, perchloroethylene, trichloroethane; fair vs. toluene
ButylSpeciality glove, polar organicsExpensive, poor vs. hydrocarbons, chlorinated solventsGlycol ethers, ketones, esters
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)Specialty glove, resists a very broad range of organics, good physical propertiesVery expensive, water sensitive, poor vs. light alcoholsAliphatics, aromatics, chlorinated solvents, ketones (except acetone), esters, ethers
Fluoro- elastomer (Viton) ™ *Specialty glove, organic solventsExtremely expensive, poor physical properties, poor vs. some ketones, esters, aminesAromatics, chlorinated solvents, also aliphatics and alcohols
Norfoil (Silver Shield)Excellent chemical resistancePoor fit, easily punctures, poor grip, stiffUse for Hazmat work

*Trademark of  DuPont Dow Elastomers

Glove Type and Chemical Use

*Limited serviceVG= Very Good G= GoodF=FairP=Poor (not recommended)
ChemicalNeopreneNatural Latex
or Rubber
ButylNitrile Latex
Acetic acidVGVGVGVG
Ammonium hydroxideVGVGVGVG
*Amyl acetateFPFP
Butyl acetateGFFP
Butyl alcoholVGVGVGVG
Carbon disulfideFFFF
*Carbon tetrachlorideFPPG
Castor oilFPFVG
Chromic Acid (50%)FPFF
Citric acid (10%)VGVGVGVG
*Dibutyl phthalateGPGG
Diesel fuelGPPVG
Diisobutyl ketonePFGP
Dioctyl phthalateGPFVG
Epoxy resins, dryVGVGVGVG
*Ethyl acetateGFGF
Ethyl alcoholVGVGVGVG
Ethyl etherVGGVGG
*Ethylene dichlorideFPFP
Ethylene glycolVGVGVGVG


 Natural Latex
or Rubber


Formic acidVGVGVGVG
Freon 11GPFG
Freon 12GPFG
Freon 21GPFG
Freon 22GPFG
Gasoline, leadedGPFVG
Gasoline, unleadedGPFVG
Hydrochloric acidVGGGG
Hydrofluoric acid (48%)VGGGG
Hydrogen peroxide (30%)GGGG
Isopropyl alcoholVGVGVGVG
Lacquer thinnersGFFP
Lactic acid (85%)VGVGVGVG
Lauric acid (36%)VGFVGVG
Lineoleic acidVGPFG
Linseed oilVGPFVG
Maleic acidVGVGVGVG
Methyl alcoholVGVGVGVG
Methyl bromideGFGF
*Methyl chloridePPPP
*Methyl ethyl ketoneGGVGP
*Methyl isobutyl ketoneFFVGP
Methyl methacrylateGGVGF


 Natural Latex
or Rubber


Naphthas, aliphaticVGFFVG
Naphthas, aromaticGPPG
*Nitric acidGFFF
Nitromethane (95.5%)FPFF
Nitropropane (95.5%)FPFF
Octyl alcoholVGVGVGVG
Oleic acidVGFGVG
Oxalic acidVGVGVGVG
Palmitic acidVGVGVGVG
Perchloric acid (60%)VGFGG
Petroleum distillates (naphtha)GPPVG
Phosphoric acidVGGVGVG
Potassium hydroxideVGVGVGVG
Propyl acetateGFGF
Propyl alcoholVGVGVGVG
Propyl alcohol (iso)VGVGVGVG
Sodium hydroxideVGVGVGVG
Stryene (100%)PPPF
Sulfuric acidGGGG
Tannic acid (65%)VGVGVGVG
Toluene diisocyanateFGGF
Tung oilVGPFVG
*Limited serviceVG= Very Good G= GoodF=FairP=Poor (not recommended)

Reference: Ansell Chemical Resistance Guide, 7th edition

Reviewed April 25, 2013

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