Effective January 18, 2017, powdered surgeon’s gloves, powdered patient examination gloves, and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s glove will be banned from use in the United States. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these devices “present an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury and that the risk cannot be corrected or eliminated by labeling or a change in labeling”. Dentists should be aware that this ban also applies to gloves already in commercial distribution and those already sold to the end user.
Risks identified by FDA include healthcare worker and patient sensitization to natural rubber latex allergens, surgical complications related to peritoneal adhesions, and inflammatory responses to glove powder. The current marketplace has many non-powdered alternatives offering the same level of protection, dexterity, and performance that do not pose the additional risks of the glove powder. Thus, the FDA concluded that the use of powdered gloves should be eliminated.
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