The American Heritage Dictionary defines “Nitrile” as an organic cyanide containing a CN group. Nitriles are typically colorless solids or liquids and have a distinctive smell.
Nitrile finger cots or stools are made of synthetic materials. They are powder free and sulphur free. They are specially designed for cleanroom environment. They provide lowest level of particulates possible.
Latex finger cots are commonplace but they may not be suitable for all people. Their latex protein may cause latex allergy in some people.
Latex allergy is an allergic reaction to latex protein in natural latex.
Latex protein in contact with human skin, mucous membrane like eye, moiuth, vagina and rectum may cause latex allergy.
They are three types of latex allergic reaction namely (i) Irritant contact dermatitis (non-immune),(ii) Allergic contact dermatitis (Type IV)(delayed hypersensitivity) and (iii) Immediate hypersensitivity (Type I). Irritant contact dermatitis is the least serious whereas immediate hypersensitivity (Type I) is the most severe whereby it develops within minutes, seldom more than two hours after a person has been in contact with latex protein.
The solution of latex allergy is to avoid contact with latex protein. One of the methods is to use non-latex finger stools such as nitrile finger stools. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends this method for all activities that are likely to involve contact infectious materials.
Besides its advantage over latex finger stool on the latex allergy, nitrile finger stool have the following benefits:-
i. They have permanent ESD properties. They do not use antistatic surface coating materials. ii. They achieve cleanroom cleanliness without using chlorine or surface antistatic coating materials. Powder free latex finger stools are actually produced by a process called chlorination. iii. They conform to the contour of the fingers after donning. Compared to latex finger cots, there is relatively little pressure on the finger after a moment. In contrast, due to its elastic property, latex finger cot continues to exert pressure on the fingers. As a result nitrile finger cots are more comfortable. iv. They are sulphur free. Sulphur may damage metals like gold, silver and copper. v. They contain no copper staining chemicals. Latex finger cots may contain chemical that may impair the purity of copper. vi. Their washing process ensures low ionic, non-volatile residue and particles levels.
It is obvious that nitrile finger cots are suitable for cleanroom, pharmaceuticals and electronic products manufacturing.
They are slightly more expensive than latex finger cots. One however, may be willing to pay a little bit more for the various benefits listed above beside its unique property of latex allergy proof.