Infection prevention

Biogel surgical glove range: Powder-free innovation for more than a quarter of a century

Biogel® gloves were the world's first powder-free surgical gloves back in 1984. More than half a century later, Biogel continues to be the only major surgical glove brand offering an exclusively powder-free range.

Biogel innovation: Always powder-free

Through innovation with materials, Biogel introduced the world's first hydrogel polymer coating with hydrophilic properties, which eliminated the need for glove powder and allowed for easy, powder-free glove donning. Biogel surgical gloves and the facilities in which they are manufactured have been powder-free since day one. With their innovative coating, Biogel surgical gloves have their own inner-surface lubrication, and mould closely to the wearer's hands, making them always easy to don for a positive fit, feel and comfort experience.

Why powder-free is important

A vast body of evidence shows that powder used in surgical gloves poses significant health risks to both patients and healthcare workers. The trend toward removing all powdered surgical gloves from the O.R. has picked up pace1,2, and the campaign to introduce this ban has been ongoing for more than 20 years1. Biogel was well ahead of the curve, bringing completely powder-free surgical gloves to market by 1984. The United States' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes the "unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury" that powdered gloves can cause3 and has moved to ban powdered surgical gloves to support protecting patients and healthcare professionals from potential harm.

Why is powder-free important?

  • Potential for increased surgical site infection: Powder fosters the formation of adhesions and granulomas4, while also creating conditions that increase the likelihood of a wound infection5,6.
  • Potential impact on wound healing3,5,7: The formation of foreign bodies (adhesions, granulomas) and potential for increased and prolonged inflammation are possible adverse outcomes, which can delay and inhibit healing.
  • Potential as vector to latex allergy sensitization and increased risk for occupational asthma: Glove powder can act as a vector, creating bacterial environmental contamination, as powder settles on surfaces, instruments, clothing and permeates the air8. It also binds to latex protein, creating conditions that increase the risk for occupational asthma1 and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions in latex sensitized patients and healthcare workers9,10.

In safe hands: Mölnlycke Health Care is the only major manufacturer offering exclusively powder-free surgical glove range

The Biogel surgical glove range has been powder-free for more than 30 years, having recognized early on the dangers associated with powder. We can be your partner in eliminating glove powder from your O.R. environment. Contact us to find out how or learn more about the full Biogel range.

Surgical gloves e-learning

Take our e-learning courses on puncture indication and double gloving to learn more about infection prevention and control



  1. FDA balks at powdered-glove ban, warning label option blasted. Hospital Employee Health 2011:;30(6):61-72.
  2. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Preventing occupational latex allergy in health care workers. Report 2011-118, 2011.
  3. FDA proposes ban on most powdered medical gloves. Food and Drug Administration News Release 2016 March. [Accessed: 16/04/2016].
  4. van den Tol, M.P., Haverlag, R, van Rossen, M.E.E., Bonthuis, F., Marquet, R.L., Jeekel, J. Glove powder promotes adhesion formation and facilitates tumour cell adhesion and growth. British Journal of Surgery. 2001;88:1258-1263.
  5. Suding, P., Nguyen, T., Gordon, I., Wilson, S.E. Glove powder increases Staphylococcus aureus abscess rate in Sprague-Dawley rats. Surgical Infections 2010;11(2):133-135. doi: 10.1089/sur.2008.055.
  6. Bosco III, J.A., Slover, J.D., Haas, J.P. Perioperative strategies for decreasing infection: a comprehensive evidence-based approach. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 2010; 92-A(1):232-239.
  7. Edlich, R.F. Deadly Powder on Medical Gloves; A Wake-Up Call to the Food and Drug Administration, 2012:70. [Accessed 06/04/2016].
  8. Sussman, G., Gold, M. Guidelines For The Management Of Latex Allergies And Safe Latex Use In Health Care Facilities. Canadian Heathcare Association 1996. [Accessed 06/04/2016].
  9. Draisci, G., Zanfini, B.A., Nucera, E., Catarci, S., Sangregorio, R., Schiavino, D., Mannocci, A., Patriarca, G. Anesthesiology 2011;144(3): 565-569.
  10. Guideline Statement for Treatment of Anaphylactic Reaction in the Surgical Patient. Association of Surgical Technologists 2013 January. [Accessed: 06/04/2016]
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