The Food and Drug Administration is pushing to ban powdered surgical gloves. Powder is used in some surgical gloves to make them more comfortable and easier to wear.
But the powder can cause scarring on internal organs during surgical procedures, inflammation, and breathing disorders.
Most surgical gloves have been phased out because of latex allergy patients and healthcare professionals. But there are still six manufacturers making the gloves in the U.S.
“This ban is about protecting patients and health care professionals from a danger they might not even be aware of,” said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, head of the FDA’s medical device center.
Prior to 1970 powdered gloves were manufactured with talc, but this was found to be irritating to healthcare providers so it was discontinued and replaced by cornstarch.
In 1998, a public safety group petitioned the FDA for a ban of the gloves.
“The fact that it took the FDA 18 years to propose banning powdered surgical gloves from the market highlights how recklessly negligent the agency is,” said Dr. Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen, in a statement. “There is absolutely no new scientific information today that we didn’t have in 1998.”
According to the FDA, the decision to ban the powdered gloves arose from a review of scientific literature from a study conducted in 2011.
“The ban is also not likely to impact medical practice because many non-powdered protective glove options are currently available,” states the FDA announcement.
The FDA will finalize their decision in 90 days until then they will take