Durable, and More Resistance Anti-allergy Alternative: The Nitrile Surgical Gloves

The nitrile surgical glove market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.19% during the forecast period to reach US$734.459 million by 2027, from US$396.944 million in 2020. Nitrile surgical gloves are made of nitrile rubber which is a compound that combines butadiene and acrylonitrile. During surgery, the end user handles different types of sharp tools to perform surgery, hence the user is more prone to cuts, slits, and punctures. These nitrile surgical gloves can offer puncture resistance and durability while providing comfort and flexibility to the surgeon. Additionally, these nitrile surgical gloves have properties such as high chemical resistance, pathogen protection, flexibility, and many more. 

Its unique qualities such as wearability and allergy comfort are increasing the market demand

The growing demand for comfort in wearables such as gloves among the end-users of nitrile surgical gloves is the prime driver in the growth of the nitrile surgical glove market. Nitrile is a more comfortable fit with 100% latex-free construction. Also, nitrile gloves are marketed for allergy prevention as they are mostly powder-free, which ultimately reduces the risk of allergens.  Gloves made from natural rubber could give rashes and allergies. Hence, to ensure skin safety and sensitivity, nitrile surgical gloves are being used during surgery.

The nitrile surgical gloves can offer the next level of comfort to their users as these gloves have a chlorinated finish which makes donning and doffing (a method of putting on “donning” and taking off “doffing” protective wearables) easier. Surgeons and hospital staff are more often faced with such situations where they are required to wear surgical gloves for a longer period, which results in wet hands. But even under such circumstances nitrile surgical gloves enable the end users to easily remove or put on these nitrile surgical gloves. Furthermore, these gloves are available in micro-textured finishes which allows a non-slip finish for both dry and wet use. These unique features of nitrile surgical gloves which are best suited for surgical environments are boosting the demand nitrile surgical market.

Price stability, diversified distribution network, and rising need for healthcare and medical professionals are further boosting the growth of the nitrile surgical glove market

A rising need for healthcare and medical professionals which attribute to the higher demand for surgical nitrile gloves is boosting the market’s growth. The usage of nitrile surgical gloves is expected to rise significantly along with the rising need for medical staff as the world is more exposed to infectious, communicable as well as non-communicable diseases. As per the World Bank’s Global Health Estimates 2020, out of total deaths in 2019, 74% of deaths were caused by non-communicable diseases. Additionally, nitrile gloves are made from man-made substances hence they have a relatively stable price than latex, this makes nitrile more stable and not subject to climate change, weather, and more such factors. Also, nitrile gloves have a longer shelf-life which makes their distribution network diverse and more scalable as the availability of this product has increased in the past few years.

The rising favoritism toward environment-friendly alternatives may pose a challenge for the regular nitrile surgical gloves manufacturers

The rising awareness about climate change and the importance of biodegradable and recyclable products is limiting the demand for nitrile surgical gloves. The materials used in making the nitrile gloves such as acrylonitrile and butadiene hurt the environment. While making nitrile gloves acrylonitrile and butadiene both substances are released into the air, and these substances can turn toxic if they are released at higher levels. Also, in the manufacturing process of nitrile gloves, CO2 is released as fossil fuels are used for healing and production. Additionally, the disposal of these nitrile gloves takes longer to decompose, and they end up in landfill which further impacts biodiversity. Hence, to prevent such environmental harm through nitrile surgical gloves, different companies are coming up with biodegradable alternatives which is expected to boost the market in the long run. For example, in April 2022 SHOWA group received FDA’s 510(k) approval for their single-use nitrile glove. SHOWA offers an M7005PF single-use line of nitrile gloves under this FDA clearance. The company claims that these nitrile gloves are low-risk class I devices that are fully biodegradable.

According to the material used, the powdered nitrile surgical glove market is expected to grow expeditiously

The nitrile surgical glove market is majorly divided into two segments namely powdered and non-powdered surgical gloves. The powdered surgical gloves are best suitable in busy conditions as they can be put on easily and the powder prevents the gloves from sticking together. The corn starch powder which is used in the powdered gloves helps to absorb more moisture and volume of fluids or chemicals. But the powder can cause sensitivities or allergies to the user’s skin which further contributes to latex allergies or sensitivity. On the other hand, powder-free nitrile surgical gloves are more skin-friendly and reduce the risk of allergies. These gloves undergo a chlorination process which makes them latex free. These gloves are more expensive as compared to the powdered gloves due to the extra processing involved in making these nitrile surgical gloves powder free.

COVID-19 Insights

The coronavirus epidemic had a positive impact on the growth of the nitrile surgical glove market globally due to higher demand from the healthcare and medical sectors due to the rising number of surgeries. The rising need for a surgical glove that has a higher resistance to chemicals, flexibility, and more puncture resistance for longer use in the medical sector resulted in the growing demand for nitrile surgical gloves in the market. The necessity to keep medical professionals safe from hazardous and contagious viruses like COVID-19 further boosted the demand for nitrile surgical gloves during the pandemic. As a result, many countries directed their efforts to strengthen their medical infrastructure and facilities which ultimately boosted the growth of global nitrile surgical gloves in the market.