A Review of Natural-Rubber Latex Allergy in Health Care Workers

Ranta, Peter M.; Ownby, Dennis R.
January 2004
Clinical Infectious Diseases;1/15/2004, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p252
Academic Journal
This brief review of natural-rubber latex (NRL) allergy in health care workers (HCWs) includes the definition of NRL allergy and data on its epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnostic algorithm, management, long-term outcomes, economic impact, cost-effectiveness of changing facilities to a latex-free environment, and prevention. The data presented suggest that an individual with type I or type IV hypersensitivity to NRL should be able to continue to work in the workplace with careful evaluation and reasonable accommodations. Reducing exposure to latex is a safe and more economical alternative to complete removal of the individual from the place of employment. The use of low-allergen, nonpowdered NRL gloves substantially reduces airborne exposure to latex in most health care settings.


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