NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Preventing allergic reactions to natural rubber latex in the workplace.

Tumpowsky CM
SENSOR Occup Lung Dis Bull 1997 Aug; :1-2
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) recently submitted its application for an additional five years of funding for work-related asthma surveillance under the SENSOR program. One issue on which we hope to concentrate over the next several years is that of latex -related asthma. Latex is one of the most frequently reported asthma-causing agents in our surveillance system and nearly all of the cases have been among health care workers. Because the health care industry is the largest industry in Massachusetts, this is of particular concern. With continued funding, we will work with other programs within MDPH to develop and distribute information about reducing latex exposures in the workplace. Recently, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health released it alert, Preventing Allergic Reactions to Natural Rubber Latex in the Workplace. This month, we reprint a substantial portion of the alert for your review. Latex gloves have proved effective in preventing transmission of many infectious diseases to health care workers. But for some workers, exposures to latex may result in skin rashes; hives, flushing; itching; nasal, eye, or sinus symptoms; asthma; and (rarely) shock. Reports of such allergic reactions to latex have increased in recent yearsespecially among health care workers.
Occupational-diseases; Occupational-health; Lung-disease; Work-environment; Occupational-exposure; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Bronchial-asthma; Employee-exposure; Occupational-respiratory-disease; Health-care; Surveillance-programs; Lung-irritants; Medical-care; Airway-resistance; Chemical-properties; Allergic-dermatitis; Allergic-reactions; Irritants; Natural-products; Rubber-workers; Physicians; Nurses; Laboratory-workers; Gloves; Personal-protective-equipment; Allergens; Allergic-dermatitis; Allergic-disorders; Allergic-reactions; Allergies
Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Occupational Health Surveillance Program, 250 Washington Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02108
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Source Name
SENSOR Occupational Lung Disease Bulletin
Performing Organization
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division