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FDA Proposes Ban on Powdered Gloves

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Kathleen Becker2 years ago

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a ban on most powdered medical gloves. The gloves purpose is to make it easier for medical providers to slip them on and off their hands easier; however, the FDA has determined the products pose a significant hazard to patients and physicians.

About the Powdered Glove Ban

According to a press release by the FDA, the proposed ban would include surgeon’s gloves, examination gloves, and absorbable power which is designed for lubricating surgeon’s gloves. The proposal is due to the potential for aerosolized glove powder to carry proteins resulting allergic respiratory reactions

The FDA opted for a ban after determining current risks cannot be corrected through new or update warning labels.

The agency announced that it went over “all available evidence” in determining their decision “including a review of scientific literature and comments it received in a February 2011 federal register notice.”

Gloves that would not be included in this ban are non-powdered surgeon gloves, powdered radiographic protection gloves, and non-powdered patient examination gloves.

Dangers of Powdered Gloves

Most powdered gloves are made up of cornstarch and calcium carbonate (CaCO3). This powder can cause a number of adverse reactions.

These reactions include:

  • allergy symptoms
  • upper respiratory-tract disorders
  • pleuritis
  • myocarditis,
  • irritation of the central nervous system
  • carcinoma   

When corn starch is combined with natural rubber latex (NRL) protein antigens, it can cause tiny particles to be released into the air as a health provider takes off their gloves. The surrounding area to be contaminated which than can cause adverse reactions or even irritate eyes.

This powder can also have a chance to enter the body during an operation.


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