The Food and Drug Administration has issued a final rule banning powdered latex gloves, saying they pose health risks to both patients and healthcare providers.
The ban should have little impact on prices or availability of substitutes, since the market share for powdered gloves has been declining for at least the past 16 years, according to the agency.
The gloves can cause allergic reactions, severe airway inflammation, wound inflammation, and post-surgical scar tissue formation, according to an FDA statement from March when the agency first proposed the ban.
Most powdered gloves have already been phased out and only six manufacturers are still registered to make them in the U.S.
It's only the second federal ban of a medical supply. In 1983, the FDA prohibited use of fake hair implants intended to conceal baldness because they were causing infections and injuries.
Powder was added to the often sticky gloves to make them easier to slip on and take off, but the FDA says the gloves pose “an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury to healthcare providers, patients and other individuals who are exposed to them."
The ban, which takes effect next month, does not apply to powdered radiographic protection gloves, nor does it apply to surgical or exam gloves that are not powdered, nor to other medical “devices” that use powder, such as condoms.