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Safety Gloves

Protective gloves should be worn when handling hazardous, corrosive or irritating materials, rough or sharp-edged objects, and very hot or cold materials. When handling chemicals in a laboratory, disposable latex, vinyl or nitrile gloves are usually appropriate. These gloves will offer protection from incidental splashes or contact. Cloth gloves should be worn when handling rough or sharp-edged objects or very hot or cold materials. Before each use, gloves should be inspected for discoloration, punctures, and tears.

 Glove Type  Protection  Comments
 Plastic, disposable (Polyethylene)  Body fluids and small amounts of aqueous solutions.  Loose-fitting. Latex and power free.
 Latex (Natural Rubber)  Dilute acids, bases and irritating solutions. Not suitable for organic solvents. Conforms to the hand and allows good finger dexterity. Be careful for latex sensitivities.
 Neoprene (Synthetic Rubber)  Good for acids, bases, and most organic solvents.  More puncture resistant but may not provide good finger dexterity.
 Nitrile Best protection for acids, bases, and organic solvents. Great puncture resistance.   Best all around glove for chemistry and biology labs.
 Vinyl (PVC)  Suitable for washing dishes and reasonable protection against corrosive materials. Not commonly found in laboratories. Not suitable for organic solvents. 
 Cloth, cotton  Suitable for handling hot or cold items but they are not fire-proof.  Loose-fitting and only provides brief protection. Difficult to clean.
 Silicone  Great for handling hot or cold items and are fire-resistant.  Best choice for handling hot materials in the lab. Hot vessel hand gripping devices are commonly made from silicone.