It has been found that trash bags, that were full of medical gloves that were used, some of which were visibly soiled and blood-stained, were seen littered on the floor of a warehouse situated on the outskirts of Bangkok.
Also, a plastic bowl that was filled with a few gloves and blue dye was spotted. According to the officials of Thailand, when the facility was raided by them in December, the migrant laborers were trying to make the gloves look new again.
Millions Of Second-Hand Gloves Being Imported In The USA
Today in Thailand, more similar operational warehouses are active that are trying to make money off the demands for medical nitrile gloves that have become extremely essential and in-demand since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Millions of these substandard gloves are being boxed and exported to the United States of America, and many other countries throughout the world that are suffering from a global shortage which would take a lot of time to be maintained again.
A long investigation that was being conducted has found that tens of millions of fake and second-hand gloves have been imported by the United States according to import records and distributors, who also bought the gloves. These actions are being criminally investigated by the concerned officials in the United States and Thailand.
An expert, Douglas Stein, has expressed an industry that is filled with fraud and has stated that nitrile gloves have become the “most dangerous commodity on Earth right now”. He stated that a large amount of unwell product is being brought in and the federal authorities are only beginning to understand the large scale of the filthy and second-hand gloves that are being imported into the United States.
US officials are struggling to get a handle on the unlawful trade systems, despite the potential risk under which frontline healthcare workers and patients prevail. This is also due to the suspension of import regulations for protective medical equipment, in light of the increasing height of the pandemic.
In December 2020, heaps of dirty and second-hand gloves were found in a warehouse in Bangkok during a raid and the Thailand FDA has speculated that frauds are responsible for the resale of these package gloves around the world.
A warning was issued by one US company to the two federal agencies, the Food and Drug Administration and the Customs and Border Protection, stating that they had received shipments in which soiled and second-hand gloves were found from one company in Thailand.
Even after this, the Thailand company managed to send shipments of tens of millions of gloves in the months to come, some of which were brought in as recently as July.
In early 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic started to badly affect the world, the requirement of personal protective equipment (PPE) became massively huge, and the prices of nitrile gloves remained high.
They are commonly used during medical patient examinations by doctors and other healthcare professionals. The FDA has banned powdered latex from being used in healthcare and thus, vinyl gloves of a lower quality are becoming more common in industrial areas and food handling.
The Food and Drug Administration has stated that they cannot comment on individual cases, but they are taking many precautions to find out those committing these unlawful acts and they are investigating, examining, and reviewing all medical products that are being imported, both at the border and within domestic commerce.