AUTHOR: Nicolas Bykoff
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every part of the world economy — but for the PPE industry specifically, the sudden spike in demand for face masks, gloves, and other equipment frontline workers rely on has inflamed global supply and delivery challenges in two key ways.
First, in the rush to procure quality American-made nitrile gloves in an expedited time frame, many businesses across critical industries, such as healthcare and transportation, were misled on product quality, resulting in receiving sub-standard PPE that could not be used and often was difficult to return for a refund. For example, this October 2021 CNN investigation tens of millions of substandard and second-hand nitrile gloves had reached the United States and posed great risk to front line workers. Even worse, bad actors defrauded many PPE buyers to the tune of millions of dollars, often collecting payment without sending agreed-upon PPE at the volume, quality and timeframe.
Second, as U.S. organizations soured on Asia PPE suppliers due to supply chain disruptions and other factors, domestic opportunists took notice. While PPE mask production facilities can be stood up in a matter of months, high-quality PPE nitrile glove manufacturing is a complex, resource-intensive multi-year process. Chasing seven and eight-figure government contracts and private sector venture capital, we’ve seen PPE brands pop up almost overnight insinuating they either have the on-shore capability or can rapidly build the capacity to manufacture and deliver billions of gloves in a matter of months.
For organizations across any industry that depend on PPE gloves to operate safely, this perfect storm of market forces makes it more critical than ever to ensure the manufacturer you choose, and the investment you make is a sound one. Key to this is distinguishing proven, reputable PPE single-use gloves – and manufacturers – from sub-standard PPE that can cost you millions of dollars.
How to Identify Reputable PPE Manufacturers
First, look for glove manufacturers in the USA with significant experience developing nitrile gloves and industry verified credentials. SHOWA Group’s decades of experience developing nitrile gloves made in the USA and long-standing supplier networks illustrate a successful history of delivering on promises that other glove manufacturers in the USA can’t claim.
Single-use gloves that meet independent testing and international organizations’ standards are another mark of quality PPE products. While scammers can forge a report, they can’t sell gloves with falsified testing results from legitimate organizations like International Organization for Standardization, ASTM International, European Standards (EN) and domestic organizations such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Lastly, customers can also test out nitrile gloves made in the USA for themselves once the single-use gloves arrive on site. Knowing what to look for in the construction of nitrile gloves made in the USA (texture, color, and consistency) can help alert buyers to potential faults in the product or signs of cost-cutting in the manufacturing process.
SHOWA gloves have been manufacturing nitrile gloves in the USA for decades. The company is constantly seeking ways to develop innovative technologies to advance the glove manufacturing industry forward while also seeking to educate consumers on which single-use gloves are the best fit for them. To learn more about SHOWA’s nitrile glove selection, visit here.