Disposable gloves

How to Ensure Your Disposable Gloves Meet FDA Standards

by Dennis Benson on August 21, 2023

Disposable gloves are essential for many industries, especially in the food service, medical, and pharmaceutical sectors. They provide protection for both the wearer and the product from contamination, infection, and cross-contamination. However, not all disposable gloves are created equal. There are different types, materials, and quality standards for disposable gloves, and choosing the wrong ones can compromise your safety and compliance.

 In this blog post, we will explain how to ensure your disposable gloves meet FDA standards, which are the federal regulations that govern the safety and quality of disposable gloves used in food handling and healthcare settings. We will also provide some tips on how to select the best disposable gloves for your specific needs and applications.

 What are FDA standards for disposable gloves?

 The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is the agency that regulates the safety and efficacy of medical devices, drugs, biologics, cosmetics, food, and radiation-emitting products in the United States. The FDA sets the standards for disposable gloves that are used for food handling and health care purposes.

 According to the FDA, disposable gloves are classified as Class I reserved medical devices that require a 510 (k) premarket notification https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves. This means that the manufacturers of disposable gloves must submit a 510 (k) application to the FDA and demonstrate that their products are substantially equivalent to a legally marketed device in terms of safety and performance.

 The FDA also requires that disposable gloves meet certain performance criteria, such as leak resistance, tear resistance, physical properties, and biocompatibility https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves. These criteria are based on the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards, which are voluntary consensus standards developed by technical experts in various fields.

 The FDA also bans the use of powdered gloves in health care settings, due to the unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury to individuals exposed to the powdered gloves https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves. Powdered gloves can cause severe airway inflammation, hypersensitivity reactions, granulomas, and adhesions in patients and health care providers.

 How to choose disposable gloves that meet FDA standards?

 To ensure that your disposable gloves meet FDA standards, you should look for the following features:

  • FDA approval: The disposable gloves should have a 510 (k) number or a statement that they are cleared by the FDA for medical usehttps://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves. You can also check the FDA's database of 510 (k) cleared devices to verify the status of your disposable gloves https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves.
  • Material: The disposable gloves should be made of materials that are suitable for your intended use and that do not cause allergic reactions or irritation. The most common materials for disposable gloves are latex, nitrile, vinyl, and polyethylene. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of durability, elasticity, puncture resistance, chemical resistance, comfort, fit, and cost. You should also check the package labeling for the materials used to make the disposable gloves https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves.
  • Powder-free: The disposable gloves should be powder-free to avoid the risks associated with powdered gloves https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves. Powder-free gloves are easier to don and remove, reduce contamination, and prevent allergic reactions. 
  • AQL: The AQL (acceptable quality level) is a quality standard that measures the percentage of defective gloves in a batch. The lower the AQL, the higher the quality of the gloves. The FDA does not specify an AQL requirement for disposable gloves, but some manufacturers use it as a voluntary quality indicator. The AQL can range from 1.5 to 4.0, with 1.5 being the highest quality level https://eagleprotect.com/blogs/articles/do-your-disposable-gloves-comply-with-fda-recommendations-and-requirements.
  • Size: The disposable gloves should fit your hands properly to ensure comfort and dexterity. Disposable gloves come in different sizes, such as extra-small (XS), small (S), medium (M), large (L), extra-large (XL), and double extra-large (XXL). You should measure your hand circumference and compare it with the manufacturer's sizing chart to find your ideal size https://www.palmflex.com/blog/how-to-choose-disposable-gloves/. 
  • Application: The disposable gloves should match your specific needs and applications. For example, if you work with hazardous chemicals or chemotherapy agents, you should choose disposable gloves that have high chemical resistance and barrier protection https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves. If you work with sharp objects or instruments, you should choose disposable gloves that have high puncture resistance and durabilityhttps://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves. If you work with food or beverages, you should choose disposable gloves that are approved for food service and that do not affect the taste or quality of the producthttps://extension.sdstate.edu/disposable-gloves-guidelines-food-handlers.

 Tips on using disposable gloves safely and effectively

 To use disposable gloves safely and effectively, you should follow these tips:

  • Wash your hands before putting on sterile medical gloveshttps://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves.
  • Change your disposable gloves frequently and whenever they are damaged or contaminatedhttps://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves. 
  • Remove your disposable gloves carefully and avoid touching the outside of the gloves with your bare handshttps://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves. 
  • Dispose of your used disposable gloves in a proper waste container and wash your hands thoroughly after removing them https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves. 
  • Never reuse, wash, or disinfect disposable gloves https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves. 
  • Never share disposable gloves with other users https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gloves. 
  • Store your disposable gloves in a cool, dry, and clean place away from direct sunlight and heat sources https://www.palmflex.com/blog/how-to-choose-disposable-gloves/.


 Disposable gloves are vital for protecting yourself and your products from contamination, infection, and cross-contamination. However, not all disposable gloves are the same. You should choose disposable gloves that meet FDA standards and that suit your specific needs and applications. You should also use disposable gloves properly and safely to ensure optimal performance and compliance.


We hope this blog post has helped you understand how to ensure your disposable gloves meet FDA standards. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to assist you with your disposable glove needs.