Staff & patient safety

Every single Biogel® surgical glove is powder-free, and has been for over 30 years

By: Mölnlycke Health Care, August 25 2015Posted in: Staff & patient safety

Surgon's hand with surgical glove holding an instrumentBiogel® sold the world’s first powder-free surgical glove in 1983, and over 30 years later, Biogel is still the only major surgical glove brand with an exclusively powder-free range.

With the innovative development of the world’s first polymer coating with hydrophilic properties, Biogel was able to eliminate powder and the adverse health effects that can result from glove powder, including: postoperative adhesions, granulomas, wound contamination and delayed wound healing.1

For more information about the adverse health effects that can results from glove powder, please review Biogel’s publication Surgical Glove Powder: An Unnecessary Hazard.

The dangers of glove powder can also cause the following adverse health effects


Increased risk of Surgical Site Infections (SSIs)

Glove powder can and will at times trigger: reduced resistance to infection, bacterial environmental contamination, foreign body reaction, delayed wound healing, adhesion formation and granuloma formation.2, 3 All of these potential consequences can increase the risk of Surgical Site Infections (SSIs).

Latex Allergy and Occupational Asthma

Powdered latex gloves have been implicated as the largest single contributor to the latex aeroallergen levels in a healthcare facility.4, 5  Latex can be aerosolized by attaching to glove powder. This not only can increase the risk of acquiring a latex allergy, but can also increase the risk of acquiring occupational asthma.6

Glove powder increases latex allergy sensitization potentially eliciting delayed hypersensitivity reactions. Powdered surgical gloves show higher levels of natural rubber latex allergens than gloves that are powder-free. This allows for the potential increase in latex sensitization and/or Type I reactions upon direct and indirect contact.2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

For more information about the dangers of powder, please review Biogel’s publication of the Top Clinical Reasons to Wear Powder-Free Gloves.

Proposed FDA Ban

The FDA acknowledges the risks associated with powdered gloves and has expressed their intent to propose a rule that would ban them.12

“FDA has determined that a subset of surgeon and patient exam gloves that are powdered and that represent a modest share of the market present a substantial risk of illness that cannot be corrected by a change in labeling. These gloves are powdered natural rubber latex surgeon’s gloves, powdered synthetic latex surgeon’s gloves, powdered natural rubber latex patient examination gloves, powdered synthetic patient examination gloves, and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s glove. Consequently, FDA is proposing to ban these devices.”

Biogel is the world’s leading brand name in high quality, technically advanced surgical gloves, and can be your partner in eliminating glove powder. To find how, please email or download the full Biogel surgical gloves range brochure.


  1. Truscott W. “Citizens petition to the FDA to ban cornstarch powder on medical gloves.” Feb. 2009.
  2. Edlich RF, Long WB, Gubler DK, et al. Dangers of cornstarch powder on medical gloves. Ann Plast Surg. 2009;63: 822–826.
  3. van den Tol MP, et al. Glove powder promotes adhesion formation and facilitates tumour cell adhesion and growth. British Journal of Surgery. 2001;88:1258-1263.
  4. 2012 AORN Latex Guideline; Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices. 605-620. 2012.
  5. 2013 AORN. Recommended Practices for a Safe Environment of Care. 217-242.
  6. Hoy RF. Occupational exposures and the development of new-onset asthma. JOEM. 2013;55(3): 235-239.
  7. Barbara. J. etal. (2004) Inhaled cornstarch glove powder increases latex induced airway hypersensitivity in guinea pigs. Clin Exp Allergy. 34: 978-983.
  8. Grunewald, J. etal (2003). Lung accumulations of eosinophil granulocytes after exposure to cornstarch glove powder. European Respiratory Journal 21: 646-651.
  9. Filon L. etal (2006) Latex Allergy..A follow up study of 1040 healthcare workers. Occup Envionm Med 63:121-125.
  10. Kelly, K. etal (2011) Prevention of IgE Sensitization to Latex in Health Care Workers After Reduction of Antigen Exposures. JOEM. Volume 53, Number 8.
  11. Hunt, T.K., etal (1994). Starch Powder Contaminants of Surgical Wounds. Archives of Surgery. Vol 129. p.824-827.
  12. FDA Proposal to Ban Powdered Natural Rubber Latex and Powdered Synthetic Latex Surgeon’s and Patient Examination Gloves. RIN 0910-AH02. July 2015.
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