Ban on powdered gloves takes effect January 18

PowderedGlovePowdered gloves will no longer be permitted for use in veterinary medicine beginning January 18, under a rule issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As previously reported in JAVMA and on the AVMA’s social media channels, starting January 18, the FDA will institute a ban on all powdered patient examination gloves, powdered surgeon’s gloves and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s glove. The ban will impact both veterinary medicine and human medicine, according to FDA officials. All powdered surgeon’s gloves, powdered patient examination gloves and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s gloves must be removed from the market at this date.

“The risk of illness or injury posed by powdered gloves is unreasonable and substantial,” the FDA said in issuing the ban. The agency cited potential consequences including inflammation, granulomas and respiratory allergic reactions.

For veterinarians who already use non-powdered gloves, the rule will have no impact. In fact, the FDA indicated that Global Industry Analysts projected the share of powdered disposable medical gloves sales to decrease to only 2 percent in 2015, so many medical providers likely won’t feel an effect from the rule. Although veterinarians who do use powdered gloves may find themselves with unusable inventory after January 18, the good news is that the FDA’s economic analysis indicates the cost of non-powdered gloves should be similar to the cost of powdered ones. Additionally, as of early January, we are aware of at least one manufacturer offering replacement of unexpired powdered gloves with non-powdered alternatives. Check with your distributor or manufacturer to see if this opportunity is available to you.

The FDA, which is responsible for enforcing the ban, recommends that unused stocks of powdered gloves be thrown away as one would dispose of any typical solid waste. Specific consequences for failure to comply with the ban have not been publicized.

15 thoughts on “Ban on powdered gloves takes effect January 18

  1. As a 28-yr veteran in veterinary medicine who was diagnosed with ashthma last year (and tested negative for pet allergies) and has been having a terrible time controlling her symptoms, I appreciate the effort that the FDA is making to protect me from yet another possible trigger for my symptoms. Buck up and pay the extra cost for non-powdered gloves to protect your self and your staff.

  2. So are any of the manufacturers taking back or exchanging purchased sterile powdered gloves? My clinic has unopened boxes and a quite a few newly opened boxes that are only missing a few gloves now.

  3. The main issue is in fact latex allergy hypersensitivity. Corn starch powdered gloves have been banned from healthcare in many European countries for over a decade now. In a 2004 analysis made in German healthcare system following the ban in 1998, an 80% decrease in occupational reported dermatitis linked to latex hypersensitivity has been reported. Corn-Starch powder plays an important role in latex induced hypersensitivity and is an allergen carrier either by inhalation route or by direct contact with skin and mucous membranes. The powder has been show to increase antigen induced boncho-constriction and antibody induction.
    Besides the potential risks for the patient in peritoneal adhesions, corn-starch granulomas and so, the ban has as main focus to protect its users. If I am not mistaken, FDA has historically not banned a whole number of items. Yet is doe snow on the powder and with good reasons.
    The main question is actually why has it taken so long for FDA to ban this.

  4. Cancer has actually been the lesser issue. Patient hypersensitivity to talc and more commonly corn starch as well as the well documented occurrence of granuloma formation at surgical sites were the main drivers of the FDA action. Admittedly, fairly rare problems (and less well documented in vet med) and certainly seems a bit of an overreach, but that is the world we live in. The ban of use, not just manufacturing, is a BIT over the top – the powders have been in use for decades, why not use what is already in the supply chain? Bureaucratic pinheads, what can you say…

  5. Does anyone know WHY the powder is now banned? What is the powder? I have noticed it makes my hands really dry, smell funny and it takes several washings to get it all the way off my hands after a day of high volume SN.

  6. More overly intrusive regulations by incompetent and inept government. Hopefully Trump will shove these edicts up the DEA’s distal orifice.

    • It is important to know which federal agency is which. Do not want to kick the wrong orifice. You might hurt yourself.

      • It doesn’t matter. They all need some severe kicking and hopefully they are going to get it soon. I have been doing a heavy caseload of surgery for over 37 years and I have seen no problems related to powered gloves other than an occasional minor eye irritation which is why we wipe gloves before eye surgery. If you are allergic then don’t use them but leave the rest of us alone.

  7. Ha! If these jackwagons think I’m not going to use the powdered gloves that I have in inventory they are sadly mistaken…but I guess I should be thankful to the FDA for protecting me. I have also noticed there is sometimes some dust associated with my toilet paper when I pull it off the roll. Can you please force companies to make dust free toilet paper?

    • Yeah. They’re called leaves.
      Just joking! But I agree, & hate Charmin TP because of the dust, it makes me sneeze.

  8. The FDA says that “the good news is that the FDA’s economic analysis indicates the cost of non-powdered gloves should be similar to the cost of powdered ones.” We’re finding that non-powdered surgery gloves are much more expensive than our previously used powdered ones. Are we alone? Any recommendations for low-coast non-powdered surgery gloves?

  9. Caribbean Spay Neuter does FREE MEGA spay neuter projects all over the Caribbean. We could definitely use the powdered gloves that need to be discarded in the USA.
    Please feel free to give me a call at: 813-746-1517 if you need to speak to me or need more information.
    Our Facebook page has a ton of information as well:

    Thank you so much!

    Karin King,
    Founder, Caribbean Spay Neuter