Dangers of cornstarch powder on medical gloves: seeking a solution.
This article reviews information on the hazards of cornstarch powder on medical gloves. Dusting powders were first applied to latex gloves to facilitate donning. After 1980, manufacturers devised innovative techniques without dusting powder. It has been well documented that these powders on gloves present a health hazard to patients and health care workers by 5 different mechanisms. First, the glove cornstarch has documented detrimental effects on wound closure techniques. Second, this powder potentiates wound infection. Third, cornstarch induces peritoneal adhesion formation and granulomatous peritonitis. Finally, these powders serve as carriers as latex allergen and they precipitate a life-threatening allergic reaction in sensitized patients. These well-documented hazards of glove powder have caused the United Kingdom and Germany to ban cornstarch powder on medical gloves over 10 years ago.
Edlich, RF; Long, WB; Gubler, DK; Rodeheaver, GT; Thacker, JG; Borel, L; Chase, ME; Fisher, AL; Mason, SS; Lin, KY; Cox, MJ; Zura, RD
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