WEST SYSTEM: Epoxy Tips – The Ideal Gloves
THE IDEAL GLOVES
Latex (white glove) is giving ground to Nitrile (blue glove) as the safety glove of choice for epoxy work.
Epoxy and polyester resins can cause a dermatological reaction in some people, which is why West System International always recommends wearing gloves to prevent skin contact when working with epoxy products. In the past, the use of one-size-fits-all elastic surgical gloves made from Latex was the usual choice but that is changing. Modern skin appears to be much more sensitive than ever before, the price of modern living, and many people are now allergic to Latex. Some are also allergic to the white powder used to lubricate the interior of Latex gloves.
As such, there has gradually been a move in industry and health care away from Latex and towards blue nitrile gloves instead. This is because:
Nitrile is harder wearing than Latex, so gloves last longer without tearing.
There is no lubricating powder, which some people are allergic to (although Latex gloves can also be supplied powder free).
Despite being similar in appearance, elasticity and feel, no Latex is used in Nitrile glove production.
Nitrile is more chemically resistant than Latex, so better suited for use with resins of all types.
Hamish suggests that if you have a stock of Latex gloves, use them up and then give Nitrile a go. You will find them much better suited to epoxy work.