Should Powdered Medical Gloves Be Banned in US?

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The US 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 US Food and Drug Administration wants to ban most powdered medical gloves, saying they pose serious health risks to patients and health care providers alike.

HealthDay News -- The US 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 would apply to powdered surgeon's gloves, powdered patient examination gloves, and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon's gloves.

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Powder on natural rubber latex gloves can contain proteins that cause allergic reactions that lead to breathing difficulties, 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 risks posed by powdered gloves cannot be eliminated through new or updated warning labels, so the FDA opted to propose a ban.

"This ban is about protecting patients and health care professionals from a danger they might not even be aware of," Jeffrey Shuren, MD, 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." 

The proposed rule is available online and open for public comment for 90 days.

Reference

FDA proposes ban on most powdered medical gloves. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm491466.htm. Accessed March 22, 2006.

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