This section has been reviewed and updated as needed: April 2012
This policy is designed to assist in the management of latex sensitization among UNC-CH Clinical Facilities and UNC Healthcare employees and to protect them from undue latex exposure.
Latex allergy prevention will consist of appropriate glove usage, identification and verification of latex sensitive employees and education.
All employees with evidence of latex sensitivity by questionnaire, medical history, or physical examination will be evaluated by the appropriate occupational health service. (University employees shall be evaluated by University Employee Occupational Health Clinic located at 145 North Medical Drive and UNC Hospitals employees shall be evaluated by Occupational Health Services.) Such an evaluation will include:
- Employees with active skin dermatitis will be evaluated by an occupational health nurse for possible latex allergy or other possible causes of skin dermatitis (i.e. soap use).
- Employees with severe dermatitis or evidence of systemic reactions to latex, i.e. anaphylaxis, asthma, will be evaluated by the occupational health Medical Director. Such an evaluation may include laboratory screening for latex sensitization. Also any employee with breaks in the skin will be evaluated for appropriateness of contact with patients and patient equipment.
- For dermatitis not responsive to conservative measures, the employee may be referred by the occupational health Medical Director to Dermatology or appropriate subspecialist.
- For systemic reactions not responsive to conservative measures, the employee may be referred by the occupational health Medical Director to Allergy and Immunology or appropriate subspecialist.
- The occupational health team managing the employee’s case will also talk with the employee’s supervisor if needed.
- The employee will also receive counseling on how to minimize latex exposures and will be provided with a list of latex products to be avoided if possible. Latex allergic employees should use only non-latex gloves and other products and avoid all latex-containing products.