Powdered vs. Powder-Free Gloves

Many of our styles of gloves come in lightly powdered or powder-free styles. On December 19th, 2016 the FDA banned the use of powdered medical/exam grade gloves due to concerns about patient sensitivity or allergies to powdered gloves, so all of GloveNation’s medical/exam gloves are powder-free. But what is the difference between the two styles?

Powdered Gloves

Powdered gloves have cornstarch added which makes them easier to put on, especially in busy locations, and can prevent gloves from sticking together. When powdered gloves are worn for a long period of time the powder can cling to user’s skin and cause sensitivities or allergies. Cornstarch powder may also contribute to latex allergies or sensitivity.

In food service locations, there have also been concerns raised about powder from powdered gloves sticking to hands, clothing, or surfaces after removal and causing contamination.

It is important to note that powdered gloves are not generally an allergy concern with nitrile or vinyl gloves.

Powder-Free Gloves

Powder-free gloves undergo a process known as chlorination that helps make latex gloves less form fitting so that powder is not needed for easy donning and removal. During the process, gloves are treated with a chlorine solution, rinsed with water, and dried to remove most of the powdered residue and latex proteins.

The downside of the process is that powder-free gloves can be harder to remove quickly and may decrease the firmness of the glove’s grip. Powder-free gloves are also more expensive than powdered gloves due to the extra effort involved in the chlorination process.

Stock up on lightly powdered or powder-free gloves with GloveNation.