Are Nitrile Gloves

  • 4 minute read
  • 12 November, 2020
  • Donald Gillespie

The wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE), including safety gloves, is a necessary part of risk reduction for many workplaces, and helps prevent contamination of materials as well as the risk of irritation and injury to workers.

Unfortunately, some glove materials can cause electrostatic build-up, which can be a hazard to both workers and materials, including sensitive electronic equipment. To help prevent this, many manufacturers now offer anti-static glove solutions which mitigate this phenomenon.

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At Unigloves, our nitrile gloves are some of the most popular in our range. Their durability, flexibility, and the comfort they offer make them some of the most versatile disposable gloves on the market. So, are nitrile gloves anti-static? Here, we uncover the risks associated with ESD and how to prevent it with anti-static nitrile gloves.


Why choose anti-static gloves?

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) refers to the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects. It can be caused by an electrical short, dielectric breakdown, or by contact. Both tribocharging (touching or rubbing of surfaces or materials) and electrostatic induction (charging a material by bringing it into contact with an electrically charged object) can cause a build-up of static electricity, which may result in ESD.

A finger receiving an static electricity shock, demonstrating the need for anti-static gloves to be worn to protect workers in certain situations.

ESD can damage components and products which contain electronics, and this damage is often very hard to detect in quality testing procedures. For this reason, preventing ESD is an incredibly important part of risk prevention and quality control in workplaces where workers are in contact with electrical materials, including handling and assembly roles, for example.

To reduce the risk of ESD, workplaces should set up an ESD Protected Area (EPA) or cleanroom environment, in which ESD sensitive items are identified, ESD equipment is available, and where ESD-appropriate PPE is worn. Anti-static gloves are an invaluable part of this equation, as these gloves protect both the wearer and materials by being ‘static dissipative’, or continuously and safely discharging electrostatic build-up.

ESD Protected Area warning stickers. To be put in place where there is a risk of electrostatic sensitive devices being damaged and workers being harmed.

Are nitrile gloves anti-static?

Not all nitrile gloves are anti-static. However, where ESD could lead to physical harm or damage to products and components, nitrile is often the preferred choice. As natural rubber latex is an insulator, it has precisely the opposite properties for those required in ESD applications.

Nitrile gloves, on the other hand, are generally less static insulative than their latex counterparts, meaning that they are less likely to result in ESD. The risk is still there, however, which is why manufactures, including Unigloves, have developed anti-static glove varieties with lower surface resistance, to reduce the risk of ESD and keep both hands and materials safe from harm.

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Unigloves Advanced anti-static nitrile gloves

At Unigloves, we are committed to developing and manufacturing only the highest quality disposable safety gloves, to offer protection to both workers and the materials they come into contact with.

Our Unigloves Advanced range is designed to meet the needs of some of the most exacting of industry sectors, including those where the handling and assembly of sensitive electronic equipment is a factor. This range of high-quality disposable safety gloves is developed with our comprehensive range of proprietary processes, including our Cleanse+, which requires gloves to be washed up to three times longer than regular examination gloves, and EasyDon, which reduces tackiness to improve donning. These and other proprietary processes from Unigloves ensure that our Advanced range of gloves are exceptionally clean, comfortable, and low-allergy; making them some of the most sought-after safety gloves on the market.

For those working with electronic equipment, including technicians and those working on electronic assembly lines, preventing ESD is essential. Our anti-static nitrile gloves from the Advanced range not only protect the wearer, products, and components from harm, but are among the most comfortable gloves in our range.

A worker cleaning electronic equipment with Unigloves while wearing anti-static gloves.

Zero | GM005*: These anti-static nitrile gloves not only suppress static discharge, but are also latex free and powder free. Paired with their unique zinc-, sulphur and accelerator free formulation, these factors reduce the risk of Type I and Type IV sensitisation (including protecting those with a latex glove allergy). The low modulus formulation closely mimics the elasticity and comfort of latex gloves, whilst offering the superior protection of nitrile against a range of chemicals.

Why choose Unigloves anti-static nitrile gloves?

For over 30 years, Unigloves has been innovating and enhancing our manufacturing processes to offer our clients the best in disposable safety glove solutions. We understand that in certain industry sectors, preventing damage to workers and components from ESD is just as crucial as preventing contamination of products and protecting hands against hazardous materials. This is why we’ve developed an extensive range of nitrile, latex and vinyl gloves, ensuring that we’ve got the perfect glove solution for your workplace, no matter the application.

Our Advanced Zero anti-static nitrile gloves will not only protect workers and products from ESD, but are extremely comfortable, low-allergy, and robust. Download our product guide for more information about these anti-static gloves and the rest of the Unigloves range, or contact our sales team to enquire about your favourite Unigloves products today.


An important note on flammable or explosive risks:

For protective gloves that are intended to be worn in areas where flammable or explosive risks exist or might be present, the electrostatic properties should be tested according to EN 16350. No products in the current Unigloves range are intended for nor are tested for use in these types of applications.

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