AHA opposes proposed cautions on latex gloves

Labels could be confusing, AHA says

The American Hospital Association (AHA) is urging the Food and Drug Administration to reconsider its proposed cautionary labels for powdered latex gloves, which are part of a pending glove-labeling rule.

The proposed label would state: "Caution: Glove powder is associated with adverse reactions."

In written comments to the FDA, the AHA noted that the caution on powdered latex gloves could be "confusing, misleading and may discourage the use of medical gloves. AHA urges FDA not to mandate cautionary labels about glove powder on either synthetic or NRL [natural rubber latex] medical gloves." The AHA notes that skin reactions are linked to glove proteins or chemical additives but that "there is no evidence that they are attribu ta ble to glove powder."

The AHA also opposes any future move to restrict or ban powdered latex gloves. "While we acknowledge that powder may play a role in aerosolizing NRL proteins, it is important to consider, and maintain the availability of, the qualities that are unique to powdered NRL gloves," the AHA stated. "We urge the FDA to continue to balance the known risks of deadly bloodborne pathogens with the relative risk of developing an allergy to chemicals or NRL proteins when making decisions about what types of medical gloves may be marketed in the U.S."