The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a proposal to ban powdered medical gloves in the United States in view of the hazards posed by it to human health.

“While use of these gloves is decreasing, they pose an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury to doctors, patients and other individuals who are exposed to them, which cannot be corrected through new or updated labeling,” the FDA says in a statement. The proposed ban, now open for public comment for 90 days, applies to powdered surgeon’s gloves, powdered patient examination gloves and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s glove. The ban, if implemented, would ultimately remove them from the marketplace completely.
Powder is sometimes added to gloves to help make it easier to put them on and take them off; however, powdered gloves are dangerous for a variety of reasons. In particular, aerosolized glove powder on natural rubber latex gloves, but not on synthetic powdered gloves, can carry proteins that may cause respiratory allergic reactions.
Although powdered synthetic gloves do not present the risk of allergic reactions, these devices are associated with an extensive list of potentially serious adverse events, including severe airway inflammation, wound inflammation, and post-surgical adhesions, which are bands of fibrous scar tissue that form between internal organs and tissues. These side effects have been attributed to the use of glove powder with all types of gloves, FDA notes.


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