Education and clinical concerns

Change isn't coming, it's already here.

America's hospitals are switching to powder-free surgical gloves.1 Learn about why they are making the switch.

Why should you switch?

Protexis® Powder-free Surgical Gloves

Why switch to powder-free now?

An FDA ban may be coming.

You may have heard that the FDA released a proposal to ban powdered gloves because of their potential health and safety risks.2 But this story is nothing new: The proposed ban is just the latest in the FDA’s statements and actions concerning powdered gloves, which began more than 40 years ago.

The standard of care is shifting.

It's already happening around the world. The United Kingdom and Germany have banned powder in their hospitals altogether.3 And, powder-free is the choice of thought leaders such as the ACS, AORN, ANA, CDC and others. In fact, AORN has changed its recommended practices to reference only powder-free gloves in the intraoperative setting.4

Helping to improve safety and health for patients and clinicians

The potential risks of powder. Powder can:

  • Delay wound healing and contribute to such post-operative complications as adhesions, infections and granulomas.5,7,8
  • Potentially contribute to longer hospital stays and increased healthcare costs.9-15
  • Compromise skin health and contribute to Irritant Contact Dermatitis (ICD), which causes dry, itchy and irritated skin.16

The powder from powdered gloves is also known to heighten latex sensitivity:

  • 8-12% of healthcare workers are affected by latex sensitivity.17
  • Increases the chance of anaphylactic reactions.4
  • The aerosolization of powder can spread latex proteins, which can increase sensitization/hypersensitivity and lead to respiratory symptoms and asthma in healthcare workers.18,19

Can you afford not to switch?

Hospital margins are under increasing pressure due to declining reimbursements caused by CMS penalties for HAIs and readmissions. The more your reimbursements are tied to patient outcomes and satisfaction, the more you need to focus on safety and quality.

Two thirds of the powdered glove users that we recently surveyed are thinking about making the change right now.23 As a healthcare company dedicated to the safety of your patients and clinicians, we’ll make it simple to switch to powder-free.


Cost of removing powder from gloves can be up to 7x more than the cost to purchase powder-free4,21

See why your peers are stepping off the sidelines and up to powder-free.

  • FDA is poised to take action2
  • Advances in manufacturing and coating technologies allow for enhanced donnability22
  • More options and versatility
  • Affordability
  • Help reduce latex sensitization18,19
  • Safety and health of patients and clinicians


Footnotes and references

1 2007-2014 GHX Data on file with Cardinal Health
2 The FDA has determined that certain powdered gloves "present a substantial risk of illness that cannot be corrected by a change in labeling." Available at:
3 Deadly Powder on Medical Gloves: a Wake-up Call to the Food and Drug Administration. Richard F. Edlich, MD, PhD. 2012. Available at:​ 7OlJ7XgP_R&sig=7-wQAWBR2rf96WHA8xiHPohbh-k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-RXyU4yCNIuOyASI2YDwAg&ved=0CE4Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=germany%20bans%20powdered% 20gloves&f=false
4 AORN Guideline for a Safe Environment of Care from 2015 Guidelines for Perioperative Practice
5 Edlich R., Watkins F. Glove powder Facts and fiction. Surgical Services Management, February 1997; 3(2): 47-50.
6 2014 GHX Data on file with Cardinal Health
7 Hunt T., et al. Starch powder contamination of surgical wounds. Archives of Surgery 1994; 129: 825-828.
8 FDA 21 CFR Parts 878, 880, and 895. Banned Devices; Proposal to Ban Powdered Surgeon’s Gloves, Powdered Patient Examination Gloves and Absorbable Powder for Lubricating Surgeon’s Gloves. II. Evaluation of Data and Information Regarding Glove Powder 15176 – 15183. Federal Register, Vol. 81, No. 55, March 22, 2016. Available at: Accessed May 2016.
9 Cost to have staff on disability due to latex - Travel Staffing News, Stephen Halasnik, March 2010.
10 Cost of OR teardowns - Estimates from Donna McDaniel, Director of Surgical Services and Carol Miller, Peri-operative Services Education. Face-to-face interview, June 2011.Available at:
11 Cost to treat anaphylactic reaction due to latex - Becker's Hospital Review, 11 Statistics on Average Hospital Costs per Stay Medscape, Anaphylaxis Treatment & Management, S Shahzad, MD.
12 Cost to remove powder - International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Vol. 74 (4) p. 267-271, Glove powder in the hospital environment consequences for healthcare workers.
13 Average cost of surgical site infection - Eyal Zimlichman, MD, MSc, Health Care Associated Infections: A Meta-analysis of Costs and Financial Impact on the US Health Care System, JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(22):2039-2046
14 Cost to treat a sharps injury - CDC: Preventing Needlesticks and Other Sharps Injuries, O'Malley, Costs of Management of Occupational Exposure to Blood and Body Fluids, July 2007.
15 Cost to treat a sharps injury - Studies show that double-gloving may lower the risk of sharps injury and infection. AORN Guideline for Sterile Technique from 2015 Guidelines for Perioperative Practice.
16 NIOSH. NIOSH Publication No. 97-135: Preventing allergic reactions to natural rubber latex in the workplace. Available at:
17 US Department of Labor. OSHA. Healthcare wide hazards: latex allergy. Available at:
20 Edlich, RM. Citizen's Petition to Food and Drug Administration to Ban Cornstarch Powder on Medical Gloves. Letter. 2008, Portland.
21 Edelstam, J. et al. Glove powder in the hospital environment – consequences for healthcare workers. Int. Arch. Environ Health 2002; vol. 75: 267-271
22 As compared to powdered surgical gloves.
23 Survey conducted by third-party market research firm. Data on file with Cardinal Health.