Using Powder-Free Latex Gloves Reduces Latex Allergy Rate in HCWs

September 3, 2011

ICT Infection Control Today

Using Powder-Free Latex Gloves Reduces Latex Allergy Rate in HCWs

Posted in News, Latex Allergies, PPE & Standard Precautions, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Gloves, Hand Hygiene, Research, Research & Studies

Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin investigating latex allergy in healthcare workers have demonstrated the most effective public health strategy to prevent allergic sensitization is by stopping the use of powdered latex gloves. Previous medical studies pointed out this association of latex allergy to powdered latex glove use but were not able to completely confirm this link in specific workers. Reducing the use of powdered gloves reduced the allergen in the air and in air ducts at two hospitals, and prevented sensitization to latex in healthcare workers at both institutions.

These findings, detailed in the paper "Prevention of IgE Sensitization to Latex in Health Care Workers after Reduction of Antigen Exposures," are published online-first in the August 2011 Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The CDC quoted this article in its publication Science Clips as one of the best scientific articles of the week, because of the practical way in which the institutions were able to implement and then prove with the study an effective public health strategy.

Kevin J. Kelly, MD, professor of pediatrics (allergy/immunology), internal medicine, and vice chair in pediatrics at the Medical College, is the lead author on the paper.

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