Effective ways of preventing latex allergies in the workplace

Pacifiers Baby bottle nipples Individuals who already have latex allergy should be aware of latex-containing products that may trigger an allergic reaction. Some of the listed products are available in latex-free forms. Latex in the Workplace Workers in the health care industry physicians, nurses, dentists, technicians, etc. Also at risk are workers with less frequent glove use hairdressers, housekeepers, food service workers, etc.

Effective ways of preventing latex allergies in the workplace

CDC - NIOSH Publications and Products - Latex Allergy A Prevention Guide ()

But for some workers, exposures to latex may result in allergic reactionsa. Reports of such reactions have increased in recent years—especially among health care workers.

What is latex allergy? Latex allergy is a reaction to certain proteins in latex rubber. The amount of latex exposure needed to produce sensitization or an allergic reaction is unknown.

Increasing the exposure to latex proteins increases the risk of developing allergic symptoms. In sensitized persons, symptoms usually begin within minutes of exposure; but they can occur hours later and can be quite varied.

Mild reactions to latex involve skin redness, rash, hives, or itching. More severe reactions may involve respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and asthma difficult breathing, coughing spells, and wheezing. Rarely, shock may occur; however, a life-threatening reaction is seldom the first sign of latex allergy.

Who is at risk of developing latex allergy? Health care workers are at risk of developing latex allergy because they use latex gloves frequently. Workers with less glove use such as housekeepers, hairdressers, and workers in industries that manufacture latex products are also at risk.

Is skin contact the only type of latex exposure? Latex proteins become fastened to the lubricant powder used in some gloves.

How is latex allergy treated? Detecting symptoms early, reducing exposure to latex, and obtaining medical advice are important to prevent long-term health effects.

Once a worker becomes allergic to latex, special precautions are needed to prevent exposures. Certain medications may reduce the allergy symptoms; but complete latex avoidance, though quite difficult, is the most effective approach.

Are there other types of reactions to latex besides latex allergy? The most common reaction to latex products is irritant contact dermatitis— the development of dry, itchy, irritated areas on the skin, usually the hands.

This reaction is caused by irritation from wearing gloves and by exposure to the powders added to them. Irritant contact dermatitis is not a true allergy. Allergic contact dermatitis sometimes called chemical sensitivity dermatitis results from the chemicals added to latex during harvesting, processing, or manufacturing.

These chemicals can cause a skin rash similar to that of poison ivy. How can I protect myself from latex allergy? Take the following steps to protect yourself from latex exposure and allergy in the workplace: Use nonlatex gloves for activities that are not likely to involve contact with infectious materials food preparation, routine housekeeping, general maintenance, etc.

Appropriate barrier protection is necessary when handling infectious materials. If you choose latex gloves, use powder-free gloves with reduced protein content. Such gloves reduce exposures to latex protein and thus reduce the risk of latex allergy.The information in this booklet applies to a wide range of jobs with exposure to rubber products.

This booklet explains the health problems that may be caused by using rubber products; the natural rubber latex protein allergy, which may cause severe health problems; and sources of information on "latex allergies.".

Preventing the Spread of Infectious Diseases at Work. As with other hazards, the best way to protect workers is to get rid of the hazard. The strategy for protecting workers from infectious diseases should start with the most effective methods.

The symptoms for latex allergy include: swelling, itching, burning, redness and hives.

Effective ways of preventing latex allergies in the workplace

Severe. The introduction of standard precautions -- including the use of latex gloves by HCWs to prevent the spread of bloodborne diseases, such as AIDS, HIV and hepatitis B -- primarily contributed to the rise in allergies seen after Preventing Latex Allergies Before They Attack Date: October 4, Source: Columbia University College Of Physicians And Surgeons Summary: Scientists at Columbia University have developed a new.

Healthcare workers

Guideline for Preventing Sensitivity and Allergic Reactions to Natural Rubber Latex symptoms, but complete latex avoidance is the most effective approach. The following recommendations for preventing latex allergy in the workplace (NIOSH, ; OSHA.

Preventing and Reducing Latex Allergies Discusses ways in which latex allergies can be reduced in the healthcare environment. Defines symptoms of latex allergies, looks at those most at risk – and discusses strategies to reduce and prevent latex allergies.

CDC - Latex Allergies - NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic