Chemicals can be highly dangerous. Some are flammable or react violently with other chemicals. Protect your eyes with goggles and your hands with gloves. Latex comes from the rubber tree, which is cultivated in wet tropical environments such as Southeast Asia, West Africa and Brazil. It is then made into various products, the most common being the latex glove. People in the United States use billions of latex gloves per year for different purposes
Latex is a natural rubber harvested from the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. It is a polymer, made up of extremely large molecules composed of many identical molecular subunits. Starch is a polymer, consisting of repeated subunits of sugar. The molecular subunits in latex are a molecule called isoprene. Latex effectively protects against some chemicals, but there are better choices for certain other chemicals.
Latex gloves are cheaper than gloves made from synthetic material. The latex gloves are generally more comfortable to wear than synthetic gloves, and the rubbery nature of the latex allows the glove to be more flexible and less stiff than synthetic materials. This flexibility of movement is more efficient for people who must have have nimble fingers, such as surgeons.
Latex gloves are used in the food service industry to prepare and handle foods in a way that eliminates contamination. A box of latex gloves can generally be found in every kitchen to provide the workers the option of protection. It is also advantageous when a worker has a cut or abrasion and the bandage needs to be covered with something extra that allows a wide range of mobility.
Latex gloves offer very good protection (low permeation rate and high breakthrough time) against ethanol, isopropyl alcohol and ethylene glycol, and moderately good protection from methanol and acetone. They offer very poor protection against isobutyl alcohol(also known as Isobutanol or 2-Methyl-1-propanol, C4H10O) and carbon tetrachloride. If you are ever in doubt, glove manufacturers can provide the permeation rate and breakthrough times for a wide array of chemicals so you can determine which gloves are appropriate.
The most common place latex gloves are used is in the medical field. They protects the nurses and doctors from potentially harmful bodily fluids. They are unique in that they protect the hands but also allow the ability to grip fine objects such as scalpels and forceps. Latex gloves are also an economical choice, which allows for disposal after every use.