FDA recommends banning most powdered medical gloves

On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a ban on the majority of powdered gloves used by healthcare workers, citing that the gloves pose substantial risk of illness or injury to both providers and patients.

"This ban is about protecting patients and healthcare professionals from a danger they might not even be aware of," said Jeffrey Shuren, MD, 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."

While the powder used in gloves can make the latex easier to pull on and remove, aerosolized powder from the gloves can transmit proteins that can cause respiratory allergic reactions. Synthetic powdered gloves do not catalyze allergic reactions, but they are associated with many adverse events, including severe airway inflammation, post-surgical adhesions and wound inflammation.

The FDA made the ban proposal because that the problem cannot be solved with new labeling. If finalized, the ban would result in the complete removal of powdered surgical gloves, powdered patient examination gloves and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon's glove from the marketplace.

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