The FDA published a final rule on December 19, 2016, banning powdered glove use. This ban goes into effect on January 28, 2017, and applies to powdered medical examination gloves and surgical gloves, and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s glove. The FDA’s position is that such items pose an“unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury to individuals exposed to the powdered gloves.” The risks to patients as well as health care providers (when internal body tissue is exposed to the powder) include severe airway inflammation and hypersensitivity reactions. The FDA further claims that “Powder particles may also trigger the body’s immune response, causing tissue to form around the particles (granulomas) or scar tissue formation (adhesions).” Refer to the final rule for detailed information about the dangers.
There are other medical exam gloves available without powder (and without latex), that offer the same level of protection, dexterity, and performance without posing risks. Be sure to replace any powdered medical exam gloves in your first aid kit.