The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to ban most powdered medical gloves, saying they pose serious health risks to patients and health care providers alike.
The proposed ban, announced Monday, would apply to powdered surgeon’s gloves, powdered patient examination gloves and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s gloves.
“This ban is about protecting patients and health care professionals from a danger they might not even be aware of,” Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in an agency news release.
“We take bans very seriously and only take this action when we feel it’s necessary to protect the public health,” he added.
Powder is sometimes added to gloves so they’re easier to put on and take off. But powder on natural rubber latex gloves can contain proteins that cause allergic reactions that lead to breathing problems, the agency said.
And powder on synthetic gloves can lead to airway and wound inflammation, as well as scar tissue that forms between internal organs and tissue after surgery, the FDA said.
The risks posed by powdered gloves cannot be eliminated through new or updated warning labels, so the FDA opted to propose a ban.
The proposed rule is available online and open for public comment for 90 days.
According to the agency, use of powdered gloves is decreasing, and many non-powdered glove options are available.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about medical gloves.