Nitrile gloves industry share intensifies with increasing PPE demand


Emphasis on worker safety across the medical, chemical, automotive and oil and gas sectors is a major factor in the growing nitrile gloves industry, where there is a strong need for serious PPE solutions. The hand is the second-most susceptible to injury in the workplace, closely following back injuries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1 million workers each year suffer serious hand injuries from injuries, cuts and stab wounds, the three most common types of hand-related injuries that can affect a worker’s ability to work.

However, hand injuries are also easily preventable, with studies showing that about 70% of them occur due to the absence of safety gear, such as gloves. The growing recognition of the importance of safety gear in the workplace, especially for hand injuries, has been a major driving force behind the rise of safety gloves in recent years. The Nitrile gloves market The size is expected to exceed $ 11.2 billion by 2027.

What are nitrile gloves?

Nitrile gloves, which became popular in the 90’s, were hailed as a suitable alternative to the widely used latex products. Highly chemical resistant and durable, these gloves are ideal for any worker handling corrosive and potentially hazardous materials. Due to their strong stinging resistance and hypoallergenic properties, nitrile gloves increase industry trends, they are also suitable for use in the medical domain.

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This is especially evident in the current flood situation caused by the outbreak of the global COVID-19 epidemic, which is forcing the healthcare sector to focus on products that are needed to prevent further infection risks. As a result, the demand for nitrile gloves has greatly increased, creating a challenge to supply in the first months after the epidemic.

However, in recent months, manufacturers have turned their attention to this and are seeking relentless measures to meet the growing demand for nitrile protection gloves in the medical field. For example, in January 2021, the Japanese manufacturing company Showa Group announced plans to triple its nitrile gloves production capacity by 2022, to its advantage in Fayette, Alabama. The goal of this expansion was to increase production capacity to 1.2 billion units annually.

Nitrile gloves are available in a variety of forms, including powder and powder-free variants. Of these, powder-free nitrile gloves have been gaining momentum in recent times, due to the relatively high risk of allergies associated with their powder counterparts. According to the report, the powder-free nitrile gloves industry could register a high valuation by 2027.

In January 2020, the US Medical Glove Company expanded its manufacturing capacity for powder-free nitrile gloves for use across industrial, medical, food and beverage, and federal applications. With the addition of 24 production lines and the $ 15 million “US Medical Glove Houston Hub”, the company tripled its medical gloves production capacity by the spring of 2021.

Although initially designed as a useful protective product during medical examinations, the utility opportunities in the nitrile gloves market have gradually expanded to many industries, including manufacturing, automotive and chemical. Latex-based gloves have been replaced by nitrile gloves in recent years in food service, food processing, sanitation and doorkeeper use, due to their extensive structural advantages.

Top 5 benefits associated with nitrile safety gloves

The nitrile gloves market has seen considerable traction in recent years, which is attributed to the growing interest in the product from many core industrial applications.

  1. Highly puncture resistant: As an inherently sting-resistant ingredient, nitrile contains 3 to 5 times the strength of latex gloves. This sting prevention, along with the product’s ability to act as a common barrier, is a major reason for its widespread use in the medical field, such as in high-pressure applications.
  2. Hypo-allergenic: The use of nitrile gloves usually provides protection against the allergic reaction associated with latex, not only for the wearer, but also for any client or patient who may be allergic to latex. These hypoallergenic properties, combined with the high durability and strength of the material, allow it to withstand many safety risks common to industrial workplaces.
  3. High chemical resistance: Nitrile gloves are made using engineered synthetic rubber for high resistance to many potentially dangerous oils, chemicals or acids. This greatly contributes to the costly use of nitrile protection gloves in applications where there is a high probability of contact with such materials, especially automotive.
  4. Form-fitting: Nitrile gloves provide a high level of comfort as well as efficiency for the wearer, as it has form-fitting properties. This higher fit is due to the ability of nitrile to adapt to specific contours of the user’s hand, as it warms their body heat.
  5. Low abrasion resistance: To make products easier to wear and remove, nitrile gloves are usually made using a coating that helps reduce their abrasion resistance. These coatings range from polymers, which affect a glossy finish, to powders, which can help remove moisture, to chlorination, which removes wrinkles and softens gloves.

There are 3 key differences between nitril and latex gloves

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for using safety gear like gloves. The modified design and material features make different products well suited for different applications. The most commonly used ingredients in gloves are latex and nitrile.

Although both serve the primary purpose of hand-protection, there are some underlying differences in their features. Listed below are the 3 main differences between nitrile gloves and latex gloves.

Risk of allergies: Latex has been one of the most widely used materials for medical gloves for decades. Latex gloves provide high protection, comfort and flexibility, all of which make them suitable for most medical environments. However, one of the major drawbacks of latex is the risk of latex allergy, which affects many people. Nitrile gloves, on the other hand, are made from synthetic rubber, and thus possess hypoallergenic properties, and thus have been replacing latex as the preferred hand protection solution in recent years.

Strength: Nitrile gloves are 3 times more sting-resistant than latex, which makes them much stronger than their conventional counterparts. Although nitrile lacks some flexibility associated with latex gloves, this high thrust resistance makes nitrile gloves a more preferred solution in applications where workers encounter sharp objects such as needles.

Price stability: Latex is a product made from natural rubber and thus naturally produced. While it has some advantages, it also has its disadvantages, mainly price instability related to natural products. Nitrile gloves, on the other hand, are made from synthetic rubber, which makes them more stable than latex.

What do nitrile gloves protect from?

The potential for nitrile gloves market application extends to countless areas. Disposable nitrile gloves can provide strong hand protection to workers from a variety of potential hazards, including corrosive liquids, abrasive materials and cuts.

However, despite their durability, no product is indefinitely impenetrable. Although nitrile safety gloves are highly chemical resistant and thus provide protection against many hazardous substances, there are some substances that they cannot protect.

For example, nitrile gloves are unable to protect against serious hazardous substances such as ketones, acetate, highly corrosive chemicals, aromatic solvents and concentrated acids. Nitrile safety gloves, when exposed to these materials, lose some of their resistance, which can damage the wearer’s skin if used in these applications. For this reason, many workplaces prefer to use alternative products such as vinyl gloves when working with these materials.

One of the most widely used hand protection solutions in countless applications, nitrile gloves are gaining ground across the industrial landscape in the modern era. Internal advantages, from high wear resistance to durability, make these products well-balanced for many aspects of the work, a trend that is gaining more and more recognition from major industries in recent years. This will surely make the nitrile gloves industry an integral part of the workers’ safety ecosystem in the years to come.



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