Donning Powder

What is the purpose of powder on gloves?

Donning powder makes gloves easier to put on, extends shelf life, and keeps the gloves from sticking together during manufacturing. A powder-free glove is less susceptible to spread the allergens, but these gloves are more likely to stick together and can be more difficult to don.

What is donning powder?

The powder used on gloves is most often 100% USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) cornstarch. USP is the official public standards-setting authority for all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements, and other healthcare products manufactured and sold in the United States.

For examination and surgical grade gloves, ASTM D6124 specifies acceptable levels of powder on powdered gloves or how much powder residue is acceptable to be considered powder free.

Are powdered gloves less expensive than powder-free gloves?

While use of powder has traditionally more cost-effective than alternative donning agents, its cost advantage continues to erode as powder-free gloves gain popularity.

Why have many suppliers discontinued powdered exam gloves?

Declining customer demand, increased production costs and stringent quality requirements have all contributed to a growing reluctance on the part of manufacturers to produce powdered exam gloves.

Unable to store liquidized cornstarch on-line for extended periods of time, factories waste time and raw materials transitioning production from powder-free to powdered. Powdered gloves are also typically less able to withstand pinhole testing than their powder-free counterparts. Higher failure rates produce more waste, adding to costs, and pose a heightened risk of container failure upon FDA inspection.