The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing a ban on most powdered gloves used in the country.
The ban, which would cover powdered surgeon’s gloves, powdered patient examination gloves and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s glove, would remove powdered gloves from the marketplace.
The FDA says the risks associated with using powdered gloves are “unreasonable and substantial” and can’t be mitigated by changing labeling.
“This ban is about protecting patients and health care professionals from a danger they might not even be aware of,” said Jeffrey Shuren, director of FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “We take bans very seriously and only take this action when we feel it’s necessary to protect the public health.”
Among the health concerns: Aerosolized glove powder on natural rubber latex gloves can carry proteins that can cause respiratory allergic reactions; and glove powder on all types of gloves can cause severe airway inflammation, wound inflammation and post-surgical adhesions.
Before proposing a ban, the FDA completed an economic analysis to determine that eliminating powdered gloves would not create a glove shortage and also would be unlikely to impact medical practice because of the number of non-powdered gloves available.