FDA Finalizes Ban on Powdered Surgeon Gloves, Citing Potential for 'Substantial Risks'

By on 12:31 PM

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has announced it is finalizing its ban on powdered surgeon's gloves, powdered patient examination gloves and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon's glove.

The reason: FDA concluded these products "present unreasonable and substantial risk to healthcare providers, patients and other individuals."

FDA noted that powdered gloves are "very dangerous" for a few reasons:
  • They are associated with potentially serious adverse events, including severe airway inflammation, hypersensitivity reactions, allergic reactions, lung inflammation and damage or post-surgical bands of fibrous scar tissue that form between internal organs and tissues. 
  • Aerosolized glove powder can carry proteins that may cause respiratory allergic reactions.

FDA concluded that a transition to non-powdered alternatives should provide similar protection, dexterity and performance that powdered gloves do, without the risks associated with powder. 

This is only the second instance of an FDA ban of a device. The first was prosthetic hair fibers in 1983.



  1. As an OR nurse who had to completely leave the OR for several years because of the severe airway issues, I applaud this decision! I just wish it had come 18 years ago! My employer at the time refused to even admit that this was an issue...

  2. Dianna, thank you for sharing your personal struggle with this issue. I am sorry that it interfered with your career choice at the time.