IgE-mediated allergy to natural rubber latex was first noted from rubber gloves in 1979. The initial reports in dermatological journals described contact urticarial reactions; later, severe generalized allergic reactions and asthma were documented. A considerable proportion of the people involved in medical and dental care were found to be sensitized to latex. This article describes and surveys a broad range of primary prevention measures at the local and national levels. Examples are given from paediatrics, dental education, and medical care. National strategies and position papers on latex allergy are presented in which medical professionals, manufacturers and public authorities have cooperated. Special reference is paid to the European work to standardize medical gloves, which led to document EN 455:3.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.