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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- As the number of aging Baby Boomers requiring surgeries and other healthcare services increases in the United States, there will be a corresponding rise in demand for disposable gloves.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (www.healthcare.frost.com), U.S. Disposable Gloves Markets, reveals that revenues in this market totaled $1.39 billion in 2001, and are projected to reach $1.54 billion by 2008.
Manufacturers have several opportunities for growth, as the trend among end users shifts from traditional powder natural rubber latex (NRL) to powder- free NRL and synthetic gloves. This transition is largely induced by the presence of allergy-causing proteins in powder NRL.
"Latex allergy affects between 8 and 12 percent of all healthcare workers in the United States, presenting a challenge to all manufacturers as they strive to lower the level of proteins in gloves," says Frost & Sullivan Consulting analyst Collin Tam.
In an attempt to minimize the protein content and satisfy end users, companies must explore new processes. Polymer-coated technologies, which reduce contact between skin and latex, are currently being used.
"Manufacturers are challenged to develop new technologies to meet customers' demand for high quality gloves at a low price," states Tam.
Key growth areas of this market include powder-free NRL examination and surgical gloves, nitrile and vinyl examination gloves, and synthetic surgical gloves. Powder-free NRL gloves are particularly attractive to the younger generation of surgeons that have been trained to use them, as they offer excellent protection from potential allergic reactions caused by contact with powder.
Increasing competition in this market ensures that participants structure their pricing accordingly and focus on delivering high quality products to the end user, enabling them to retain market share.