The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently ruled that latex gloves that use powder as a lubricant will be banned by 2017.
The ban was preliminarily announced in March and has now been approved by the FDA which stated that such gloves “present an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury and that the risk cannot be corrected or eliminated by labeling or a change in labeling.”
The reason for the ban involved the goal to reduce the number of adverse events in the medical field. It has been found that the powder in surgical gloves can cause allergic reactions, granulomas, and airway inflammation. Though the FDA recognized that the powder in gloves allowed for easier donning and removal of gloves, these benefits were minimal when compared to the potential health risks of powdered material in surgical gloves.
However, this ban does not apply to protective radiographic gloves, and the powder used to manufacture the gloves is allowed as long as there is less than two milligrams of the powder inside of gloves at the time of sale.
The FDA claims that there are a variety of alternatives available within the marketplace, and that the change should not have a large impact on healthcare. The ban has been added to the FDA Medical Device Ban Registry as of today, and will be legally enforced in 30 days on January 19th, 2017.