Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1998
To the Editor.—Dr Bernstein1
discusses latex allergies in his article "Allergic Reactions to Workplace
Antigens," but he does not cite a recent development in the field. Since 8%
to 12% of regularly exposed health care workers are sensitized to latex and
the overall prevalence of latex asthma is up to 2.5%, physicians should be
aware that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health2 has recently produced an advisory recommending
the following measures: use nonlatex gloves for activities not likely to involve
contact with infectious materials and only use powder-free latex gloves with
reduced protein content when necessary. These recommendations highlight the
importance of symptom recognition and appropriate consultation, with avoidance
as a treatment measure and education of workers being cornerstones of management.
The Food and Drug Administration3 has mandated
that all medical devices be labeled as to their latex content beginning in
Reddy S. Prevention and Management of Latex Allergy. JAMA. 1998;279(12):911. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-12-jbk0325
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