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The Nitrile Glove Maze

Nitrile Glove Factory

How can you possibly work out the real differences between nitrile examination gloves, furthermore, with so many websites selling products offering vastly different prices and using various confusing terminology?  It’s a minefield out there, how do you know what to look for when all you’re after is good quality examination gloves?

We’re here to help clarify these points: 

When looking for gloves there should be an AQL rating. This stands for “Acceptable Quality Level” and refers to an internationally used quality standard for measuring the percentage of pinhole defects in disposable gloves.  All gloves, from nitrile to latex, can have tiny pinholes and the test process checks batches of gloves throughout manufacturing to discover how watertight they are. 

The lower the AQL number, the greater the amount of protection. However, expect to find a higher price with a lower AQL number, this is due to the manufacturing costs being considerably higher to achieve a greater quality glove.  

The most commonly sought-after gloves have AQL numbers of 1.5 and 4.0, but AQL’s of 1.0 and 0.65, which can be used in specialist areas such as chemotherapy clinics and microbiology labs, are available.  

The box of gloves on Amazon for £5.00 is most likely going to be short dated, expired or re-used stock and won’t have an AQL of 1.5, making it unsuitable and possibly dangerous for use by healthcare professionals.  

The other important number you should look for on a glove box is the EN number.  This confirms that gloves have been made in accordance with the required EN standard.  The EN number specifies requirements and tests for specific products and EN 455 is the required standard for gloves for medical purpose. 

What to look for when buying gloves: 

Always look for the AQL on the box – this should be 1.5 or lower for medical use – manufacturers should print this on the box when the gloves are registered for protection against chemicals and micro-organisms. 
 
Always look for EN 455 – gloves should be made in accordance with this standard, when required for medical purpose. 

All of the gloves we sell here at Rapid Fire Supplies have an AQL of 1.5 and hold EN 455 standard.

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