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NIOSH Alerts Home Healthcare Workers About Latex Allergies

NIOSH Alerts Home Healthcare Workers About Latex Allergies

Workers' Compensation

NIOSH, The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, has published a booklet to educate Home Healthcare Workers about preventing latex allergies. Latex products are made from natural rubber, and sensitivity can develop after repeated exposure. Limiting exposure to latex can help prevent allergic reactions for home healthcare workers and their clients.

Once Natural Rubber Latex (NRL) sensitivity occurs, allergic individuals continue to experience symptoms, including life-threatening reactions, not only on exposure to NRL in the workplace but also upon receiving or accompanying a family member receiving healthcare services at inpatient as well as office-based settings.

In September of 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule requiring cautionary statements in the labeling of all medical devices that contain natural rubber likely to come in contact with humans. The rule provides that such products must contain the following cautionary statement in bold print: "Caution: This product contains natural rubber latex which may cause allergic reactions." Additionally, the FDA issued a final ruling that the labeling of medical devices that contain natural rubber, likely to come in contact with humans, shall not contain the term "hypoallergenic."

Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of
workers' compensation claims filed against employers on behalf of individuals who have suffered latex allergic reactions. Scientists and government officials estimate that about 950,000 U.S. healthcare workers have developed an allergic sensitivity to latex.


The author, Jon L. Gelman, practices law in Wayne, NJ. He is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over five decades, the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman , 1.973.696.7900 have represented injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

© 2012-23 Jon L Gelman. All rights reserved.

Recommended Citation: Gelman, Jon L.,  NIOSH Alerts Home Healthcare Workers About Latex Allergies, (2012),

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