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Which glove for the job?

I am new to the forum and would love some feedback for those who have some time to respond. As I get into the industry as a supplier, I’ve learned that different disposable gloves are ideal for different tasks in the processing environment.

For example, those who do trimming tend to like the black nitrile gloves, but it’s seemingly more about the balance of strength and comfort since they wear the glove for extended periods of time. For extractions and distillates; however, I am finding that a thinner (less expensive disposable) is ideal so long as the finish on the gloves resists sticking to the product.

Question #1 - Are my observations accurate?
Question #2 - Are there other factors that are considered when choosing the right disposable glove for the job? (For example: Does exam-grade vs general purpose matter? What about the purity of the glove? Would you prefer a product that has limited chemicals within the glove? Did you know some gloves have fewer chemicals than others, or why this is important? Is it important to you?)

Any and all feedback would be awesome, as 100% of my job is disposable gloves and we are breaking into this market nicely thus far, but the more I learn the better I can focus my key products at tradeshows. We also have a new “green glove” which I’m trying to decide is right for this market or not.

Thanks in advance for your time and advice. You can reach me directly at [email protected] if you prefer.

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Hello Danielle,

Firstly, welcome to the community and we are so happy you are here. Just a quick intro, my name is Dan Jordan and I am the Founder of RayWear. My answer is not exactly what you were asking, but might be a perspective you need to consider. For the most part, I believe you are correct with your glove assumptions. Gloves for trimming/cultivation are usually different than the gloves used for sanitation. I would just suggest if you are going to be using the disposable gloves, in the cultivation context, then you want to make sure they have good UV protection. Workers have their hands next to high powered grow lights all the time, and many disposable gloves (medical, etc) do not provide an effective level of protection from light radiation. I am not 100% certain of the brand, but the black disposable gloves, commonly used by tattoo artists, usually have a decent level of protection, but those can also be deceiving. Many of your latex or poly-blend gloves in the market have this issue. Hope you find the answers you are looking for. Have a great day. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

Dan Jordan
[email protected]

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Hey Dan, Awesome feedback. I never considered UV light before but this makes perfect sense. Let me do some research on this and I may be able to address some of these points with data.

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Hey Danielle…yes, I deal with textiles/fabrics, not the gloves side, but the abstract you posted seems very consistent with what we have researched along with what many industrial hygienists we consulted have echoed. For the specific need of radiation protection, thicker is MUCH better and changing gloves regularly was a highly recommended SOP. Light radiation risks are still relatively ignored in cultivation, but once it is mentioned out loud, people have “Ah hah” moments. I would never tell anyone how to run their business, but it might be an advantageous marketing strategy for Sempermed to differentiate yourselves from the 3M, and other brand options, by recognizing this reality. Regardless, I hope we see growers rocking your gear in the near future.:grinning:

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Here’s some info I dug up on UV Light and disposable glove protection:

Below is some data from a study that was conducted in 2004 that rated vinyl, nitrile, and latex gloves for UV light transmittance (ability to get through the material). Based on the abstract below, vinyl was by far the worst and nitrile tested the best at blocking UV radiation. In one test method, nitrile averaged only 0.18% transmittance for unstretched glove, while the other method measured an average of only 0.015% transmittance. The amount of light transmittance undoubtedly decreases with the thickness of the gloves.

Nitrile is clearly the best material for this work, thicker is better, and perhaps limiting the overstretching helps as well (i.e. don’t wear your gloves too tight).


Determination of the attenuation properties of laboratory gloves exposed to an ultraviolet transilluminator.
“The transmission of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from an ultraviolet transilluminator through three types of laboratory gloves (latex, nitrile, vinyl) was determined using two independent methods. First, transmittance was measured with a radiometer equipped with UVA and actinic UV detectors. Second, a spectrophotometer was used to determine the UVR transmittance vs. wavelength (250-440 nm); this data was then used to compute the effective attenuation of the glove material. The average UVA percent transmittance using the radiometer method with an unstretched glove was 73.4%, 0.18%, and 1.10% for vinyl, nitrile, and latex, respectively. The average actinic percent transmittance for an unstretched glove was 13.3%, 0.015%, and 0.024% for vinyl, nitrile, and latex, respectively. Slight increases in UVR transmittance resulted from stretching the gloves by 30% or wetting them with saline. Six hours of UVR exposure decreased transmittance of vinyl gloves and increased transmittance by latex gloves. Results from the spectrophotometer method and radiometer methods of determining UVR transmittance agreed that vinyl gloves had the highest transmittance; however, the spectrophotometer method greatly overestimated UV glove attenuation due to the effect of light scattering by the glove material. The study suggests that in some circumstances, vinyl gloves will provide inadequate protection against workplace ultraviolet radiation.”

I hope this helps! Happy to answer anyone else’s glove questions as they come up. @ProcessorOwners @Greenhousegrowers @LabOwner @growopowners

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Absolutely. This is an area I didn’t even think of, but we are absolutely growing like crazy in this market with our SemperForce Black Nitrile gloves in particular. Once they start wearing them they don’t want to switch back to anything else. Excited to keep learning through these forums so we can address the hot-button issues and keep being a good resource for personal protective equipment (PPE). Good luck with your line as well! All we do is manufacture gloves so it’s nice to learn about the other aspects of this field.

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We are finding the exact same results with our protective clothing as well. Workers want to be safe, they just need to be educated about options and have those options readily available. And there is a ton of idea cross-pollination in this space right now with so many getting into the industry from non-cannabis origins. Such a great time to learn and push the market forward. Hopefully we will see you at a convention/trade-show soon!

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We keep a few kinds of gloves around the shop.

  1. Both black and blue disposable nitrile gloves. Both colors are essential. For people whose skin is especially sensitive, they can wear a blue layer on top and a black layer beneath. If they see black appear underneath the blue, it’s time to switch both pairs. Learned this trick when working in an actual research lab that uses much more hazardous chemicals than in the cannabis industry.

  2. Ansell Activarmr model 97-201 work gloves. These gloves are fantastic work gloves. Very comfortable, and impact pads on the top of the hands (great when you have a lot of heavy extraction equipment around). Plus they have an NFPA 2112 fire resistance rating. Pair that up with some fire retardant coveralls, and some leather steel toed boots, and you are ultra-safe when running that extractor. Your fire marshal will really appreciate you going above and beyond and keeping good safety gear like this around.

  3. North model B131 butyl rubber gloves. These gloves are specially designed for handling alcohols, and ketones. We use a lot of acetone for cleaning in the lab because it is a very powerful solvent (cuts through extract grime much easier than isopropanol and is far cheaper than ethanol), it evaporates faster than ethanol or isopropanol and at lower temperatures, and CDPH approved acetone for cleaning tools and parts - so we have no conflicts using it in the shop. The only catch is that it will cut through nitrile gloves fairly quickly, so we needed something better formulated for handling acetone.

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