Hidden Dangers in Latex Gloves

Hospitals should screen workers for allergies, study says

SATURDAY, July 20, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Latex gloves are meant to protect health-care workers from blood borne diseases.

However, the gloves themselves may actually pose a health threat by increasing the risk of latex allergies, says a University of Maryland School of Medicine study.

The study looked at a screening program for health-care workers at the Maryland Medical Center that found 8 percent of workers were latex-sensitive. The result is much higher than the 3 percent national average for the general public.

The study was published in a recent issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

"Allergy to natural rubber latex has become an important occupational health problems for health-care workers," says study co-author Mary Beth Bollinger.

More Information

For more information about latex allergies, contact the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology at 1-800-842-7777 or go to their Web site.

SOURCE: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology news release, July 2, 2002
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