Authors: Mabe DO, Singh TS

Source: Current Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2009; 22 (1): 28

Summary:

Occupational allergy to natural rubber latex (NRL) is a well characterised phenomenon. Workers, particularly in the health care setting are sensitised to airborne latex proteins from exposure to powdered latex gloves in their professions. The use of low-protein nonpowdered latex gloves has been proven to prevent exposure, thereby reducing the incidence of sensitisation in workplace settings. Personal respiratory protective equipment (PPE) for particulates is recommended as a secondary measure in minimizing respiratory sensitisation. A standardised procedure for sampling and quantification of latex allergens is needed for establishing airborne exposures to assess compliance with occupational exposure limits (OELs). This review outlines the impact of environmental exposure to latex aerosols in various workplace settings, as well as strategies for prevention.