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

Type Advantages Disadvantages For Protection Against
Natural rubber Low cost, good physical properties, dexterity Poor vs. oils, greases, organics. Frequently imported; may be poor quality Bases, alcohols, dilute water solutions; fair vs. aldehydes, ketones.
Natural rubber blends Low cost, dexterity, better chemical resistance than natural rubber vs. some chemicals Physical properties frequently inferior to natural rubber Same as natural rubber
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) Low cost, very good physical properties, medium cost, medium chemical resistance Plasticizers can be stripped; frequently imported may be poor quality Strong acids and bases, salts, other water solutions, alcohols
Neoprene Medium cost, medium chemical resistance, medium physical properties NA Oxidizing acids, anilines, phenol, glycol ethers
Nitrile Low cost, excellent physical properties, dexterity Poor vs. benzene, methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, many ketones Oils, greases, aliphatic chemicals, xylene, perchloroethylene, trichloroethane; fair vs. toluene
Butyl Speciality glove, polar organics Expensive, poor vs. hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents Glycol ethers, ketones, esters
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) Specialty glove, resists a very broad range of organics, good physical properties Very expensive, water sensitive, poor vs. light alcohols Aliphatics, aromatics, chlorinated solvents, ketones (except acetone), esters, ethers
Fluoro- elastomer (Viton) ™ * Specialty glove, organic solvents Extremely expensive, poor physical properties, poor vs. some ketones, esters, amines Aromatics, chlorinated solvents, also aliphatics and alcohols
Norfoil (Silver Shield) Excellent chemical resistance Poor fit, easily punctures, poor grip, stiff Use for Hazmat work

*Trademark of  DuPont Dow Elastomers

Glove Type and Chemical Use

*Limited service VG= Very Good G= Good F=Fair P=Poor (not recommended)
Chemical Neoprene Natural Latex
or Rubber
Butyl Nitrile Latex
*Acetaldehyde VG G VG G
Acetic acid VG VG VG VG
*Acetone G VG VG P
Ammonium hydroxide VG VG VG VG
*Amyl acetate F P F P
Aniline G F F P
*Benzaldehyde F F G G
*Benzene F F F P
Butyl acetate G F F P
Butyl alcohol VG VG VG VG
Carbon disulfide F F F F
*Carbon tetrachloride F P P G
Castor oil F P F VG
*Chlorobenzene F P F P
*Chloroform G P P P
Chloronaphthalene F P F F
Chromic Acid (50%) F P F F
Citric acid (10%) VG VG VG VG
Cyclohexanol G F G VG
*Dibutyl phthalate G P G G
Diesel fuel G P P VG
Diisobutyl ketone P F G P
Dimethylformamide F F G G
Dioctyl phthalate G P F VG
Dioxane VG G G G
Epoxy resins, dry VG VG VG VG
*Ethyl acetate G F G F
Ethyl alcohol VG VG VG VG
Ethyl ether VG G VG G
*Ethylene dichloride F P F P
Ethylene glycol VG VG VG VG
Formaldehyde VG VG VG VG


 Natural Latex
or Rubber


Formic acid VG VG VG VG
Freon 11 G P F G
Freon 12 G P F G
Freon 21 G P F G
Freon 22 G P F G
*Furfural G G G G
Gasoline, leaded G P F VG
Gasoline, unleaded G P F VG
Glycerine VG VG VG VG
Hexane F P P G
Hydrochloric acid VG G G G
Hydrofluoric acid (48%) VG G G G
Hydrogen peroxide (30%) G G G G
Hydroquinone G G G F
Isooctane F P P VG
Isopropyl alcohol VG VG VG VG
Kerosene VG F F VG
Ketones G VG VG P
Lacquer thinners G F F P
Lactic acid (85%) VG VG VG VG
Lauric acid (36%) VG F VG VG
Lineoleic acid VG P F G
Linseed oil VG P F VG
Maleic acid VG VG VG VG
Methyl alcohol VG VG VG VG
Methylamine F F G G
Methyl bromide G F G F
*Methyl chloride P P P P
*Methyl ethyl ketone G G VG P
*Methyl isobutyl ketone F F VG P
Methyl methacrylate G G VG F
Monoethanolamine VG G VG VG
Morpholine VG VG VG G


 Natural Latex
or Rubber


Naphthalene G F F G
Naphthas, aliphatic VG F F VG
Naphthas, aromatic G P P G
*Nitric acid G F F F
Nitromethane (95.5%) F P F F
Nitropropane (95.5%) F P F F
Octyl alcohol VG VG VG VG
Oleic acid VG F G VG
Oxalic acid VG VG VG VG
Palmitic acid VG VG VG VG
Perchloric acid (60%) VG F G G
Perchloroethylene F P P G
Petroleum distillates (naphtha) G P P VG
Phenol VG F G F
Phosphoric acid VG G VG VG
Potassium hydroxide VG VG VG VG
Propyl acetate G F G F
Propyl alcohol VG VG VG VG
Propyl alcohol (iso) VG VG VG VG
Sodium hydroxide VG VG VG VG
Styrene P P P F
Stryene (100%) P P P F
Sulfuric acid G G G G
Tannic acid (65%) VG VG VG VG
Tetrahydrofuran P F F F
*Toluene F P P F
Toluene diisocyanate F G G F
*Trichloroethylene F F P G
Triethanolamine VG G G VG
Tung oil VG P F VG
Turpentine G F F VG
*Xylene P P P F
*Limited service VG= Very Good G= Good F=Fair P=Poor (not recommended)

Reference: Ansell Chemical Resistance Guide, 7th edition

Reviewed April 25, 2013

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