Surgical gloves powdered with talc were banned today (Dec. 15, 2016) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of potential dangers to human health.
Talc products that women commonly use for feminine hygiene have led to many lawsuits across the country, but that is not the only health concern that led to the ban, the FDA reported. Talc powder has been associated with serious adverse events including severe airway inflammation, hypersensitivity reactions, allergic reactions such as asthma, lung inflammation and damage, granulomas, and peritoneal adhesions.
The FDA said that non-powdered alternatives to surgeons' and patient examination gloves are available that provide similar protection, dexterity and performance minus the risks associated with the talc powdered glove.
The ban was first proposed in March, 2016, by the FDA, which was advocated by professional societies. "This ban is about protecting patients and health care professionals from a danger they might not even be aware of," Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health said back in March. "We take bans very seriously and only take this action when we feel it's necessary to protect the public health."