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Why powdered surgical gloves may be banned

Posted at 8:19 AM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-21 13:45:21-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials are moving to ban most surgical gloves made with powder, a feature designed to make them easier to wear, but which actually poses health risks to patients.

The Food and Drug Administration says the powder can cause breathing problems, wound inflammation and scar tissue on internal organs following surgery. The agency proposed the ban Monday in a federal filing.

Still, the ban is not expected to have much impact on glove supplies or manufacturer sales. 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 ban of a medical supply ever proposed by the government. In 1983, the agency banned fake hair implants intended to conceal baldness due to infections and injuries.