Health-care workers and latex allergy

Heather N. Zak, Linda M. Kaste, Mark J. Barry, Kathryn Schwarzenberger, Gillian M.P. Galbraith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Latex hypersensitivity can pose a threat to anyone, but health-care providers are among the high-risk groups for developing latex hypersensitivity. Latex hypersensitivity likely results from health-care workers' increased use of gloves following implementation of universal precautions. It is also believed that the antigenic load of latex gloves causes an increase in latex hypersensitivity resulting from massive production of gloves. Although there are many studies on the prevalence of latex hypersensitivity among health-care workers, there appear to be discrepancies, which may affect the different apparent prevalence. Testing for latex hypersensitivity raises another problem. Latex allergens cannot be identified specifically; therefore, there is no standard test or testing solution that can identify hypersensitive persons. Although latex glove hypersensitivity was first identified in the late 1970s, there remain many uncertainties associated with it; as a result, there is a growing concern among health-care providers. The authors offer several precautions to avoid the development of latex hypersensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-346
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Environmental Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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