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China’s Effect on Vinyl Gloves and the Powdered Glove Ban

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China has depended very heavily on coal to make itself the second-largest economy in the world, but it appears that this has cost the country likely more than it realizes in a variety of unfortunate ways. Not only is air pollution in China a health problem and a problem for the economy, but now it’s having a big impact on the cost of disposable vinyl gloves.

China is a major producer of the vinyl used in latex-free gloves, and in January of this year, a production ban was imposed on vinyl glove factories due to record levels of air pollution. With production halted, this means that the price of vinyl gloves will go up. According to one account, vinyl has spiked in price by more than 55 percent in just a few months, from $946 per ton in September 2016 to more than $1,500 per ton today.

“Not only is air pollution in China a health problem and a problem for the economy, but now it’s having a big impact on the cost of disposable vinyl gloves.”

This, in effect, is impacting U.S. suppliers. While some suppliers have increased their prices for vinyl gloves significantly to cover the increased cost, DayMark has been able to moderate its price increase to just about 5 percent. And because the ban on operating these vinyl factories is set to expire—or at least be reevaluated—later this month, it is possible that there will be no future price increases. However, much depends on what happens in China.

What About the Powdered Glove Ban?

As of January 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned powdered gloves for use in medical and surgical settings and for physical examination, as they pose an “unreasonable and substantial risk for illness or injury.” The FDA considered this so important that the ban is absolute: medical providers must discontinue use of powdered gloves immediately—there is no grace period for using up existing supplies.

The good news is that none of DayMark’s medical-grade gloves are powdered, so they are not affected by this ruling. DayMark also offers its customers a number of non-powdered glove alternatives for general purpose tasks as well.

Please read DayMark's Statement on Powdered Gloves

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