High Demand For Disposable Exam Gloves in 2009

1/26/2010 - Written by the Medical Exam Glove team

Overall market share for disposable exam gloves exploded in 2009 nearing $2 billion. According to Marketstrat Inc.’s “Disposable Medical Gloves (Surgical & Exam) Markets Worldwide” report, the sharp increase in demand for disposable gloves is attributed to numerous infectious diseases which include H1N1, SARS, Avian Flu, HIV, and other outbreaks. In addition, the overall growing population and an increased awareness of personal hygiene further attributed to the increased demand for medical gloves.

As expected, price continued rise as the cost of raw materials, fuel, and production costs increased. It is reported that the high demand for exam gloves helped offset increased production costs, but it will be interesting to note how price will be affected when supply and demand stabilize. Over the past several years, the cost of producing medical gloves has steadily increased and forecasts indicate the trend to continue as competition for natural resources and raw material increase. Despite this trend, the overall disposable medical glove industry is projected to continue to increase through 2016.

The market for nitrile exam gloves is quite strong and will increase at a higher rate than latex gloves. Nitrile has become the preferred synthetic alternative to latex when it comes to exam gloves because of the durability and protection it provides. As technology improves, the quality of nitrile gloves will get better with higher sensitivity and the ability to stretch well.

Although demand for synthetic exam gloves has skyrocketed, powder-free latex exam gloves continues to be the most popular disposable exam glove used in the medical industry. Powdered latex gloves are a thing of the past and rumors indicate that the FDA may ban the use of them due to hazard concerns.


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