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Guidelines - management of natural rubber latex allergy and selecting the right glove for the right task in health care facilities.

New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS),Division of Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health Service
Gerwel B, Blumenstock JS, Bresnitz E, O'Leary K. eds. Trenton, NJ: New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Division of Epidemiology, Environmental and Occukpational Health Service, 2000 Jan; :1-16
Natural rubber latex (NRL) has proven effective in preventing transmission of many infectious diseases. Unfortunately, use of NRL gloves in this preventive effort has contributed to documented sensitization to NRL allergens of 1-6% of the general population, and 7-17 % of health care workers.1,2 NRL exposure sources in the health care setting may induce sensitization or allergic reactions in health care workers and patients. Allergic reactions can include the more common mild rash and hay fever-like symptoms, as well as asthma, and, less commonly, life-threatening anaphylactic shock and death. The initial onset of allergic reactions can be delayed and may not cause symptoms for years. To address health issues affecting employees exposed to NRL-containing products, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) convened a Latex Allergy Task Force. The charge of the Latex Allergy Task Force was to provide guidance and advice to the DHSS regarding the prevention and management of NRL sensitization and allergy. Based on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Alert in 1997,1 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Technical Information Bulletin in 1999,2 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules and regulations in 1997,3 and the FDA proposed rules in 1999,4 the Task Force helped to develop this document which provides guidelines for the management of individuals who are working with or exposed to NRL products in the health care facility environment. Each health care facility should develop policies and procedures for the prevention and management of NRL allergy/sensitization that are specific and relevant to its own institution. Both the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and the New Jersey Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Act require private and public employers, respectively, to provide employment free from recognized hazards which are known to cause injury, physical harm, or death. The Americans With Disabilities Act provides guidelines for hiring and placing employees with disabilities. Employers must make a "reasonable accommodation" to allow disabled individuals to perform the essential functions of a job.
Respiratory-system-disorders; Respiration; Pulmonary-system; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Pulmonary-function; Diseases; Bronchial-asthma; Humans; Men; Women; Public-health; Risk-factors; Employee-exposure; Employees; Employee-health; Gloves; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Allergens; Allergic-reactions; Health-care-personnel; Medical-personnel; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Natural-products
Publication Date
Document Type
Book or book chapter
Gerwel-B; Blumenstock-JS; Bresnitz-E; O'Leary-K
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008338; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-208160
Source Name
Guidelines: management of natural rubber latex allergy and selecting the right glove for the right task in health care facilities.
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services