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Feds Ban Sale and Use of Powdered Exam Gloves

Clinicians who still have powdered gloves in the office need to stop using them.


Clinicians who still have powdered gloves in the office need to stop using them. Declaring that they present “an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury, and that the risk cannot be corrected or eliminated by labeling,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final rule banning the sale, distribution and use of powdered patient examination gloves, powdered surgeon’s gloves and absorbable powder used for lubricating gloves. The rule took effect Jan. 18.

The ban was not unexpected. In the wake of reports about health care personnel developing allergies to the powders, the FDA notes that 93% of health care providers had switched to nonpowdered gloves by 2010. In announcing the ban, the FDA states that the powder in gloves is a danger to patients and health care workers when exposed to internal tissue or inhaled — posing risks such as inflammation of wounds, tissue adhesions, postoperative wound infections, wound healing complications, granulomas, and respiratory allergic reactions, including asthma.

From Decisions in Dentistry. February 2017;3(2):10.

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