Millions Of Used Medical Gloves Imported Into The U.S. Amid Pandemic

While the demand for medical gear increased during the pandemic, millions of dirty gloves were imported into the United States, CNN reports.

After a months-long investigation, CNN states that warehouses in Thailand are “storing tens of millions of counterfeit and second-hand nitrile gloves have reached the United States, according to import records and distributors who bought the gloves is underway.”

CNN also reports that distributors are “trying to cash in on the demand for medical-grade nitrile gloves,” which became in higher demand due to the pandemic.

A Miami-based businessman, Tarek Kirschen, ordered about $2 million worth of gloves and sold them to a U.S. distributor. He then started receiving complaints because the gloves were dirty.

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“These were reused gloves. They were washed, recycled,” he told CNN. “Some of them were dirty. Some of them had bloodstains. Some of them had markers on them with dates from two years ago… I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

An expert told CNN that there’s a great amount of bad product coming in. “There’s an enormous amount of bad product coming in,” Stein says, “an endless stream of filthy, second-hand and substandard gloves coming into the US of which federal authorities, it seems, are only now beginning to understand the enormous scale.”

The United States struggles to get a handle on the import due to regulations for the import of medical equipment temporarily suspended and that’s still the case.

The FDA didn’t comment on this particular incident, but did state, “a number of steps to find and stop those selling unapproved products by leveraging our experience investigating, examining and reviewing medical products, both at the border and within domestic commerce.”

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As of now, an investigation is currently being conducted.

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