Prevention of IgE sensitization to latex in health care workers after reduction of antigen exposures.
Kelly KJ; Wang ML; Klancnik M; Petsonk EL
J Occup Environ Med 2011 Aug; 53(8):934-940
Objective: To investigate occupational latex allergy in health care workers (HCWs) before and after an intervention designed to reduce latex allergen exposure from gloves. Methods: Latex antigen concentrations in work area air ducts were measured before the intervention. Symptoms and latex sensitization were monitored annually before and after the intervention in 805 HCWs, using questionnaires and skin prick testing. Results: The prevalence of latex sensitization before the intervention correlated with air duct latex antigen measurements, for HCWs exposed to low (9/413, 2%), intermediate (23/292, 8%), and high (11/67, 16%) antigen levels, P < 0.0001. After the intervention, new latex sensitization rates declined 16-fold, and 25% of previously sensitized employees reverted to negative skin tests. Conclusion: Airborne antigen exposure is a major source of latex sensitization among HCWs. Use of powder-free latex gloves markedly reduces the risk of sensitization.
Airborne-dusts; Allergens; Allergic-reactions; Allergies; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Health-care-personnel; Immune-reaction; Medical-personnel; Occupational-exposure; Quantitative-analysis; Questionnaires; Respiratory-hypersensitivity; Respiratory-irritants; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Worker-health; Workplace-studies; Surveillance
Kevin J. Kelly, MD, Department of Pediatrics (Allergy/Immunology) and Medicine, 999 N 92nd St, C-730, Wauwatosa, WI 53226
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine