Goal 1: To Provide Educational Materials
Volunteers mail copies of latex allergy educational materials and lists of non-latex products to individuals, organizations, schools, and government agencies. We also provide information by phone 1-888-972-5378 and by internet web site www.latexallergyresources.org. Members make presentations to assist in establishing latex allergy risk reduction programs.
Goal 2: To Provide Emotional Support
Volunteers provide emotional support to individuals and their families who are affected by latex allergy through local groups called National Support Networks. Latex allergy is a disease that disturbs everyday life, ends careers, and in its most severe form is life-threatening. We support individuals’ efforts to make healthy life adjustments latex allergy by advising them seek early medical diagnosis, remain under care, avoid contact with products, and learn about allergy.
Goal 3: To Promote Latex Allergy Policies in Health Care Facilities
In addition to giving educational presentations to assist health care facilities in establishing latex risk reduction programs, volunteers provide oral and written comments on latex safety to government agencies. For example, we urged the Food and Drug Administration to label content of medical devices, and provided written comment when the FDA published proposed labeling regulations for public review. We advocate that appropriate public agencies label consumer items that contain natural rubber latex. We advocate that all health care facilities establish latex allergy risk reduction policies for employees and patients that include minimizing exposure to latex proteins. We advocate that training for employees include recognition of signs and symptoms of allergic reactions to natural rubber latex, task appropriate glove selection and safe treatment for the latex allergic patient. We advocate safe accessibility to health care and emergency medical services for the latex allergic individual.
Goal 4: To Minimize Latex Exposure in the Workplace
The American Latex Allergy Association interacts with employers and government agencies to minimize latex exposures in workplaces. We advocate that all medical and dental facilities establish a risk reduction program to address the safety of workers. Our members provided comment at public meetings of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and both agencies named latex allergy a priority on their occupational safety and health agendas. We encourage the use of task appropriate glove selection and advocate the use of synthetic gloves where feasible. We advocate that food service and housekeeping personnel use only synthetic gloves. The American Latex Allergy Association supports the positions of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) advocating that: a) the FDA regulate maximum levels of extractable allergens in gloves, expedite approval of a latex extract for skin testing; b) appropriate government agencies conduct or fund epidemiological studies to identify the prevalence and causes of latex allergy; and, c) appropriate government agencies implement studies of synthetic glove materials including their in-use barrier effectiveness.
Goal 5: To Promote Research on Latex Allergy
The American Latex Allergy Association strives for accuracy in its publications and educational materials by using research-based information. Our board of directors reviews and approves all educational materials. Our approach earned an endorsement from the American Academy of Asthma Allergy and Immunology (AAAAI) and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). Both the AAAAI and ACAAI the have invited us to attend and exhibit at their annual professional meetings.
The American Latex Allergy Association reflects the needs of its members, and welcomes comments and suggestions.