How Long Will Disposable Gloves Last?
The shelf life of a glove depends on how it is manufactured, the materials used in its construction, and how the glove is stored.
The life of disposable latex and nitrile gloves varies, but a general rule of thumb is that latex gloves last 3 years.
Disposable gloves products of artificial materials like nitrile, neoprene, PVC, synthetic resin and associated different similar varieties of disposable gloves have an approximately five-year period of time.
Although makers won’t guarantee it, some disposable nitrile gloves are celebrated to last up to ten years in storage with no obvious or significant damage, provided they are kept in their original packaging and away from moisture.
If the gloves are off from their original packaging or are exposed to wet, however, their period of time is reduced significantly.
Glove Manufacturer Guidelines
The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require glove makers to line a shelf-life date.
Some makers, however, specify that their disposable gloves product could also be unbroken and unused for up to 5 years.
However, once the product’s seal has been broken, once the gloves are off from their original packaging, or if they have been exposed to wet, the end date guidelines from the manufacturers don’t seem to be applicable.
Disposable gloves have a reduced shelf life when they are exposed to ozone or ultraviolet light for extended periods or stored in areas with high temperatures.
The Denver-based Association of Operating Room Nurses, in its 1999 “Standards, Recommended Practices, and Guidelines,” recommended that sterile gloves be considered sterile unless the packaging has been damaged or opened.
Assessing A Disposable Glove
The Food and Drug Administration advises that, even after the expiration date, gloves can still protect some parts.
When you can’t tell the expiration date of a glove, look for signs that the glove is safe to use.
When the disposable gloves are not visibly damaged, you can stretch them to their full length without cracking, breaking, or tearing.
This means that they are generally safe and will provide adequate protection.
Gloves should be thrown away if they are discolored, have tears or holes, or exhibit other symptoms of wear.
In addition, unsafe gloves are often brittle and tear easily – especially at the fingertips and seams – and will have a hard surface that cracks when stretched.