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May 12, 1993

Alternatives for Health Care Workers With Latex Glove Allergies

JAMA. 1993;269(18):2368. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500180060029

To the Editor.  —Berky et al1 are to be congratulated for bringing the increasing problem of latex allergies among health care workers to the attention of the medical community by their recent survey of US Army dental personnel. I would like, however, to correct a common misperception that their article inadvertently perpetuates.Based on a 1986 text by Taylor and Fisher,2 they state that "synthetic Elastyren gloves may be the only glove that some exquisitely rubber-sensitive medical personnel can use." In 1986, this statement would have been accurate; today, however, it is not.In 1990, a nonlatex, nonvinyl, thermoplastic elastomer called Tactylon received its 510(k) notification from the Food and Drug Administration for use in both sterile surgical and nonsterile examination gloves. Tactylon contains neither latex allergens nor the chemicals added during vulcanization.3 Furthermore, Tactylon is hypoallergenic as measured by the modified Draize test of 200 individuals