Toxicological and immunological aspects of occupational latex allergy

Ahmed, S. and Aw, Tar-Ching and Adisesh, A. (2004) Toxicological and immunological aspects of occupational latex allergy. Toxicological Reviews, 23 (2). pp. 123-134. ISSN 1176-2551. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Latex allergy continues to be an important occupational health problem as latex products are used increasingly worldwide, particularly in healthcare. Although there are few epidemiological studies on the incidence of latex allergy, there has been an increase in the number of case reports over the last 10 years and, based on skin-prick tests, estimates of prevalence of latex allergy in healthcare workers range from 2% to 17%. The allergic health effects arise either from the latex proteins, generally causing a type I immediate hypersensitivity reaction, or from the chemicals added to latex during processing, causing a type IV delayed hypersensitivity reaction. Clinical manifestations of latex allergy depend on the route of exposure and occur by direct contact either with skin or mucosa, or by inhalation. The diagnosis of latex allergy is based on the history, skin tests, serological tests and challenge tests. Thirteen latex allergens have been identified and isolated so far from natural rubber latex. They differ in their potential to elicit immunological responses in individuals allergic to latex and thus have been designated as major or minor allergens. In latex gloves, cornstarch powder used as a donning agent carries latex proteins, thereby increasing inhalational and mucosal exposure to latex proteins. There also appears to be a positive correlation between protein content and allergenicity of gloves. The use of powder-free, low-protein gloves is effective in reducing symptoms and markers of sensitisation. Alternatives to latex gloves, such as nitrile or vinyl gloves are available but may be inferior in respect to manual dexterity and biological impermeability.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > Kent Institute of Medicine and Health Sciences (KIMHS)
Depositing User: M.P. Stone
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2008 15:24
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014 16:09
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/11995 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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