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Preventing Occupational Latex Allergy in Health Care Workers

DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2011-118
cover of 2011-118

Occupational latex allergy has been a prevalent condition, particularly among health care workers, and has led to disability and rarely death. Although estimates vary, between 8 and 12% of the 7 million health care workers showed evidence of sensitization. Over 22 billion pairs of medical gloves were sold in 1997, with enormous potential for reducing exposures. The reduction in use of powdered latex gloves had been associated with a reduced risk for developing latex allergies, but the costs, benefits, and practicality of this approach needed further documentation.