From Around the Web: All About Black Medical Gloves

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Have you ever seen a pair of black medical gloves and wondered if they are safe to use?

Medical gloves are intended to act as a physical barrier between healthcare providers and patients. They play a critical role in protecting both of them from cross-infections. 

However, black-colored medical gloves are something you might think twice before considering. That’s why we intend to present all the information about black medical gloves.

Throughout this article, we will discuss the use of medical gloves and the advantages of black medical gloves. Then, we will evaluate the materials used to manufacture these gloves.

We will also tell you everything about the gloves’ properties, classifications, and tests they are subjected to. Furthermore, this article will give tips on using and storing medical gloves.

Finally, we will share with you some other professions that benefit from using black medical gloves.

So, come on, let’s start examining black medical gloves.

What are medical gloves?

Medical gloves are used as a protective measure. Healthcare providers use them to protect themselves and their patients. 

Additionally, they act as a physical barrier between the user and microorganisms. Therefore, they should be used when handling blood or bodily fluids. 

Furthermore, medical gloves reduce the risk of cross-contamination [1].

Thus, medical gloves can be divided into:

  • Examination gloves
  • Surgical gloves
  • Chemotherapy gloves

Black medical gloves

You are probably wondering now if the color of your gloves matters. Well, black medical gloves provide the same level of protection as other medical gloves. 

However, using black colored gloves may have some advantages. For instance, it can be used for color coding.

Additionally, black medical gloves are available in different materials and sizes. Therefore, they can be an appealing choice. 

When to wear black medical gloves?

Medical gloves are used when you are about to touch someone’s bodily fluids. You must ensure you are protected first, whether blood, urine, feces, respiratory secretions, or vomit. 

Furthermore, they can be used when handling chemicals and chemotherapeutic agents.

Thus, black medical gloves are also used in the same settings. Additionally, they can be used in the food industry and by tattoo artists as they provide more protection.


Black medical gloves are used by healthcare professionals, tattoo artists, and on some occasions, chefs. They act as a physical barrier that protects one from different bodily fluids. 

Additionally, they can be used when handling chemotherapeutic agents. 

Why use black medical gloves?

The different types of black medical gloves are mainly used to color code or double glove. Also, they can be used in labs to detect powders.

  • Color coding

Back in the old days, your options might have been limited. Yet, today you can purchase gloves made from any material you want and of any color you wish. 

Thus, color coding is used in hospitals and clinics to differentiate between glove materials. Also, they can be used to limit cross-infections. This takes place by assigning a color for each department. 

For instance, blue and black gloves can be used to examine patients, while purple gloves can be used in chemotherapy. Additionally, it can be used for double gloving.

  • Double gloving 

This is a technique used in hospitals to increase the level of safety. It takes place by wearing an extra pair of gloves underneath your original ones. 

Therefore, double gloving is used to reduce contamination risks. Also, it offers a higher level of protection against percutaneous injuries. It leads to fewer perforations of the inner gloves as well.

Consequently, it is recommended by more than one health organization. 

Double gloving takes place by:

  1. Wearing a light-colored glove underneath a dark-colored one, like black gloves
  2. Wearing a dark-colored glove under a light-colored one
  3. Wearing gloves of two different thicknesses


Black medical gloves can be used to color code in different departments within a healthcare organization. You can either wear them underneath light-colored gloves or vice versa. Additionally, they can offer some extra protection through double gloving.

Black medical gloves manufacture

You are probably wondering now how are black medical gloves made?… The black dye is added to the glove’s material during manufacturing.

You will find that more than one material can be used to make black medical gloves. The most popular choices are nitrile and latex. However, vinyl, neoprene, and polyisoprene can also cause medical gloves.

So, let’s examine the properties of these different materials closely.

  • Nitrile

Nitrile gloves are made from a copolymer synthesized using acrylonitrile and butadiene. This provides them with the following features:

  • Less allergenic than latex
  • Highly flexible 
  • Snug fit and comfortable
  • Withstand pressure 
  • Resist mild chemicals

However, nitrile gloves take a longer time to degrade in the environment. Even though they are not the most eco-friendly choice, they are the most popular glove.

  • Latex

Latex gloves are made using natural rubber. Therefore, they are biodegradable and eco-friendly. Additionally, latex gloves:

  • Are highly durable 
  • Offer great tactile sensitivity 
  • Provide a snug fit
  • Have high dexterity

Nonetheless, latex is made from a natural material and can cause an allergic reaction. Latex allergy can range from dermatitis to anaphylaxis. Additionally, it offers less protection against chemicals than nitrile.

  • Vinyl

Although black medical gloves are available, they are not the best choice. Vinyl gloves are also made using a synthetic compound. But it is still cheaper than other glove types.

Vinyl gloves are usually loose-fitting. Therefore, they can’t provide the level of required protection and safety. 

However, nitrile gloves are:

  1. Soft 
  2. Comfortable 
  3. Affordable
  4. Non-allergenic
  • Neoprene

Neoprene gloves are as snug fitting and comfortable as nitrile. They are also cheaper than nitrile. However, they are not as elastic and stretchy.

Additionally, they offer a high level of protection against:

  1. Oils
  2. Water  
  3. Acids 
  4. Solvents

Also, it is more puncture and tear-resistant than other glove choices.

  • Polyisoprene

These gloves are:

  1. Durable 
  2. Elastic 
  3. Flexible 

However, they are the most expensive gloves. Therefore, their cost makes them the least favorite glove choice.


Black medical gloves can be made using several materials: 

  • Nitrile: flexible, snug fit, comfortable, high dexterity, latex-free
  • Latex: puncture and tear-resistant, snug fit, durable 
  • Vinyl: cheapest, latex-free, puncture resistance
  • Neoprene: chemically resistant, snug fit, durable 
  • Polyisoprene: elastic, high dexterity

Additionally, the black color of the gloves is added during the manufacturing process. Usually, this occurs early in the manufacturing process while the glove material is still liquified.

Main features of black medical gloves

Black medical gloves follow the same regulations as other medical-grade PPE. Therefore, their manufacture is guided by local FDAs to ensure their quality.

Let’s examine the several features that black medical gloves must fulfill.

  • High tactile sensitivity 

Medical gloves are used to examine patients and perform procedures. They should be manufactured from materials that preserve hand sensation. 

Therefore, lightweight materials are preferred in making black medical gloves.

  • Thickness 

The glove’s thickness is a tricky area. You want your gloves to be thick enough to resist punctures and tears. Yet, it would be best to have them lightweight so they won’t hinder your sensitivity.

Thus, experimentation is essential with this feature. You can try several thicknesses and settle on the one that provides you with the best protection. 

  • Barrier protection

This feature represents the tensile strength of your black medical gloves. Tensile strength is your glove’s ability to stretch without tearing.

Medical gloves need to provide a certain level of flexibility. Most physicians double-glove during surgeries and examinations. Therefore, their outer gloves must stretch enough to be worn over their inner ones.

  • Snug fit

Another key feature of black medical gloves is their ability to conform to the hand’s shape and size.

We mentioned that surgeons and physicians perform delicate procedures. Therefore, losing gloves will be an obstacle in surgeries or examinations.

Consequently, nitrile and latex are the most recommended materials for manufacturing medical gloves. Both materials conform to the hand’s shape elegantly.


Four essential characteristics must be present in black medical gloves. The gloves should be thick enough to offer protection. However, they should be lightweight to ensure they preserve tactile sensitivity.

Additionally, the glove’s material should comfort and conform to the hand’s shape. Thus, materials with high tensile strength, like nitrile, are recommended. 

How are black medical gloves classified?

All medical gloves are subjected to several testing procedures to ensure their quality. They are then classified into examination, surgical, and chemotherapy gloves.

  • Examination gloves

These gloves offer a higher level of protection than those used in the industrial fields. Black examination gloves must comply with the standards set by the FDA. 

However, their quality and the level of protection they offer are lower than that of surgical gloves.

Additionally, they can be divided into sterile and non-sterile examination gloves.

  • Sterile gloves

Sterilized black medical gloves are germs-free. Sterilization of medical gloves can take place by exposing them to the following:

  1. Radiation 
  2. Heat 
  3. Chemicals

Radiation: This takes place by exposing the gloves to gamma rays. This leads to the elimination of all microorganisms from the glove’s surface.

Chemically: Ethylene oxide is the chemical used to sterilize gloves.

  • Non-sterile gloves

These gloves are manufactured in the same manner as sterile gloves. However, they are not decontaminated. 

This doesn’t mean they are full of pathogens; of course not. Non-sterile gloves are subjected to standards and tests that ensure that their pathogen count is meager. 

Thus, they are more expensive than regular gloves. Yet, they are less costly than sterile examination gloves.

  • Sterile vs. non-sterile black examination gloves

All medical-grade gloves must have an Acceptable Quality Limit of 2.5 or lower. At the same time, non-sterile gloves can have AQL that ranges from 1 to 2.5. In the case of sterile black medical gloves, their AQL must be lower than 1.

On the one hand, black sterile medical gloves can be used in medical examinations or dental procedures. While on the other hand, black non-sterile medical gloves are used to measure blood pressure and draw blood.

Therefore, a medical organization is recommended to provide its staff with both; sterile and non-sterile black examination gloves.


Black examination gloves must conform to the FDA’s standards for medical-grade gloves.

These gloves can be sterilized and thus used in minor procedures. Additionally, they can be non-sterile and used in measuring blood pressure and administering IV and IM shots.

  • Surgical gloves

Surgeons use surgical gloves to perform operations. Therefore, they are expected to provide even higher sterility and protection. Thus, all surgical gloves are sterilized and sold in pairs. 

However, black surgical gloves are a rare choice. The dark color of the glove will hide blood stains and other contaminants. But black sterile examination gloves can be worn underneath them for double gloving.

  • Chemotherapy gloves

Black chemotherapy gloves need to be chemically resistant. They should also have a high breakthrough time to ensure that the hazardous chemical doesn’t penetrate them easily. 

Therefore, black chemotherapy gloves are preferable as you can easily spot powder residue.


Although black surgical gloves are a rare option, black nitrile chemotherapy gloves are popular. Color plays an essential role in the choice of black chemotherapy gloves.

  • Powdered vs. non-powdered gloves

The difference between these two types of gloves is that powdered gloves are lined with starch powder inside. This powder absorbs sweat providing a better grip and fit. 

However, the primary purpose of powdering gloves is to facilitate their donning. 

Yet, studies proved that cornstarch powder constitutes a threat to both physicians and patients. For instance, the powder found in latex gloves contributed to the increase in latex allergy [2]

Therefore, in 2016, the FDA stated that all medical gloves should be powder-free. 

But don’t worry; chlorination can be used as an alternative to facilitate glove donning. The gloves are usually dipped in a chlorinated solution after their manufacturing. 


If you are purchasing black gloves, make sure they are powder-free. You may consider purchasing chlorinated gloves for easier donning.

Are black medical gloves tested?

Like all medical-grade gloves, black gloves are tested to ensure their superiority. The gloves are subjected to an eclectic array of tests, including: 

  1. Accepted Quality Limit (AQL)
  2. Tensile test
  3. Puncture resistance 
  4. Viral barrier test
  5. Residual powder test
  6. Heat degradation test 
  7. Physical examination

Accepted Quality Limit (AQL)

This test detects the number of pinholes found in a glove. It uses a percentage-based system to determine whether the gloves are accepted. 

During this test, the gloves are filled with water to detect leaks. As previously mentioned, black medical gloves must have AQL lower than 2.5.

Tensile test

Tensile testing measures the elasticity of black gloves. The gloves are stretched to determine their vital force to break and tear.

Puncture resistance

Healthcare providers need to feel safe that their gloves can resist piercing needles. Therefore, medical gloves are tested with a probe to determine how much force they can withstand.

Viral barrier test

The primary function of black medical gloves is to prevent the spread of infections. Therefore, the gloves are tested to determine the penetration time. This is when the bacteria move from one glove surface to the other.

During the test, the gloves are placed in a solution of microorganisms. 

Residual powder test

All medical gloves should be powder-free according to the regulations of the FDA [1]. Therefore, the gloves are tested after the manufacturing process to determine if they have residual powders. 

Heat degradation

The test determines the temperature that causes black medical gloves to degrade and melt. Therefore, a gloves sample is subjected to several temperatures to see when it starts to melt. 

Physical examination

The dimensions of surgical gloves should be thoroughly tested, as these gloves are purchased according to size. Therefore, the glove’s dimensions are measured from the inside and outside. 


Black gloves are manufactured using guidelines provided by local FDAs to ensure their quality. Therefore, they are subjected to several tests to determine their features. For instance, the gloves are tested to determine their tensile strength and the number of pinholes.

Tips to properly use black medical gloves

Medical gloves are intended to protect physicians and patients. Therefore, the following tips will guide you to use them safely.

  1. You probably know this well by now, but you must wash your hands before wearing black medical gloves.
  2. Check the glove’s material before donning it if you are allergic to latex or nitrile.
  3. Choose the right glove size. Loose-fitting gloves can be annoying and uncomfortable. 
  4. Sharp objects like needles and scalpels can puncture or tear your gloves. So, be cautious when handling sharp objects.
  5. Change your gloves if they are stained, pierced, or torn.
  6. Medical gloves like black medical gloves are intended for single use. Dispose of them as soon as you take them off. 
  7. Wearing gloves doesn’t mean you’re 100% protected. So, wash your hands thoroughly when you take your gloves off. 
  8. Make sure the glove box is accurately labeled. The glove box should state if they are sterile or non-sterile.
  9. If you’re purchasing chemotherapy gloves, ensure you obtain a list of chemicals compatible with the glove’s material.

How to properly store black medical gloves?

Storing black medical gloves is similar to keeping medical-grade gloves. Thus, allow us to offer tips for storing black gloves safely.

  • Keep the gloves in their original boxes, and don’t break the seal unless you are ready to use them.
  • Heat can cause the gloves to use their integrity and melt. Therefore, make sure they are stored in a relaxed environment.
  • Humidity is another threat you need to watch out for. It can provide a medium for bacterial growth. 
  • Proper storage of your gloves can extend their shelf life.

Who else can use black medical gloves?

Black medical gloves are primarily manufactured to be used in the medical field. However, they can be used by tattoo artists, law enforcement personnel, and the food industry.

  • Tattoo artists

If you have ever been to a tattoo parlor, you might notice that some artists prefer black gloves. Black medical gloves not only offer protection, but they also hide dye stains.

Additionally, black gloves give the artists a fabulous look that suits the profession. 

  • Law enforcement

It is effortless to detect powders on black background. Therefore, black medical gloves provide a perfect location for law enforcement personnel. Furthermore, crime scenes can be filled with hazardous materials. 

Therefore, black gloves are a barrier to bacteria and chemicals. 

  • Food industry 

Handling someone else’s food is a delicate profession. Chefs and servers might prefer wearing dark-colored gloves to hide food stains. 


The black glove can be used in other professions. Their color will give them an edge that regular gloves can’t compete with.

Frequently asked questions

Do black gloves offer protection from microorganisms?

Yes, black medical gloves are tested to ensure they offer high protection. These gloves are tested to determine their ability to protect you from pathogens.

What are the materials used to manufacture black gloves?

Nitrile, latex, vinyl, neoprene, and polyisoprene are used to manufacture medical gloves. However, latex and nitrile are the most common choices.

Does the manufacture of black gloves follow specific guidelines?

Yes, manufacturing medical gloves need to follow standards set by local FDAs. Therefore, they are thoroughly tested to guarantee their conformity to these standards.

What are the critical features of black gloves?

These gloves should be of high tensile strength. Additionally, they should preserve tactile sensitivity and provide a comfortable fit.

Are all black medical gloves similar?

No. Black medical gloves are divided into three categories; examination gloves, surgical gloves, and chemotherapy gloves. Examination gloves can either be sterile or non-sterile.

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