Pennsylvania Latex Allergy Awareness Week Resolution

October 1, 2006

PRINTER'S NO. 2088

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THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

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SENATE RESOLUTION
No. 352 Session of 2006

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INTRODUCED BY MELLOW, COSTA, KASUNIC, FERLO, BOSCOLA, PIPPY, TARTAGLIONE, STOUT, KITCHEN, O'PAKE, BRIGHTBILL, ERICKSON, MUSTO, GREENLEAF AND WENGER, SEPTEMBER 25, 2006

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INTRODUCED AND ADOPTED, SEPTEMBER 25, 2006

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A RESOLUTION
1 Designating the week of October 1 through 7, 2006, as "Latex
2 Allergy Awareness Week" in Pennsylvania.
3 WHEREAS, In 1997, after receiving more than 1,700 reports of
4 latex allergy reactions, including 16 deaths associated with the
5 natural rubber latex cuffs on the tip of barium enema catheters,
6 which have since been recalled, the United States Food and Drug
7 Administration ordered that any medical device containing
8 natural rubber latex carry a cautionary label about potential
9 allergic reactions; and 10 WHEREAS, The National Institute of Occupational Safety and
11 Health issued an alert in June 1997 requesting assistance in
12 preventing allergic reactions to natural rubber latex among
13 workers who use gloves and other products containing natural
14 rubber latex; and
15 WHEREAS, The Food and Drug Administration issued final rules
16 that went into effect September 30, 1998, requiring labeling
17 statements concerning the presence of natural rubber latex in
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1 medical devices, including device packaging containing natural
2 rubber that contacts humans; and
3 WHEREAS, As of March 1999 the total number of latex allergy
4 reactions associated with latex-containing medical gloves
5 reported to the Food and Drug Administration was 2,330,
7 WHEREAS, Latex gloves have been used in the health care
8 industry by health care workers to prevent the transmission of
9 many infectious diseases; and
10 WHEREAS, Natural rubber latex is used to manufacture some
11 emergency equipment, personal protective equipment, medical and
12 hospital equipment and household and office supplies; and
13 WHEREAS, Latex gloves are used in other industries, such as
14 child care, food service, food processing and automobile repair;
15 and
16 WHEREAS, The Food and Drug Administration issued a cautionary
17 statement in the 1999 Food Code Annex that natural rubber latex
18 gloves have been reported to cause allergic reactions in some
19 individuals who wear latex gloves during food preparation and
20 also in individuals eating food prepared by food employees
21 wearing latex gloves; and
22 WHEREAS, With its growing use, there is more awareness that
23 latex and latex-containing products may trigger an allergic
24 reaction; and
25 WHEREAS, Latex allergy is due to numerous allergen proteins
26 derived from natural rubber latex; and
27 WHEREAS, The number of health care workers and others
28 affected will continue to increase because frequent exposure to
29 latex causes the development of the allergy; and
30 WHEREAS, Children with spina bifida, those who have medical
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1 conditions involving multiple surgical and invasive procedures
2 and individuals prone to allergies are at a greater risk for
3 allergic reactions to latex; and
4 WHEREAS, Researchers estimate 1% to 6% of the general
5 population, or up to 18 million Americans, are affected by latex
6 allergy, including 40% to 65% of children born with spina
7 bifida; and
8 WHEREAS, Various support groups across the country have comer
9 together to increase public awareness of latex allergies and
10 encourage the endorsement of such efforts across the nation; and
11 WHEREAS, The need to protect the residents of Pennsylvania,
12 including patients and health care workers, against latex
13 allergies is a public health issue, and awareness of the public
14 health threat through education is the key to prevention of
15 latex allergic reactions; therefore be it
16 RESOLVED, That the Senate designate the week of October 1
17 through 7, 2006, as "Latex Allergy Awareness Week" in an effort
18 to urge all Pennsylvanians to become educated about latex
19 allergies.

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