October/November 2008 (vol. 05/3)

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Dilemma: Powdered latex gloves

Is the latest NHS Plus guidance on latex allergy a help or hindrance?


The national guideline issued by the NHS Plus- funded OHCEU on the management of latex allergy does not advocate a complete ban on use of latex gloves in the workplace, but it does recommend a move away from powdered latex. Is this a confusing message?


Too little, too late, sums up the approach by NHS Plus and the Occupational Health and Clinical Excellence Unit (OHCEU) in their national guideline on managing latex allergy at work1.. 

Occupational hygienist Alf Chamings is a senior health and safety manager in the NHS. He believes that the guideline issued by the NHS Plus-funded OHCEU ‘muddies the water’ by failing to discuss employers’ legal obligations to prevent or adequately control exposure to latex in the workplace


Latex is found in numerous products used at work, particularly in healthcare, and up to one in six healthcare workers can suffer from latex-induced problems. Somewhat controversially, the new guideline ..

Dr Kit Harling is director of NHS Plus.

Author: Chamings A, Harling K


Occupational Health at Work October/November 2008 (vol. 05/3) pp30-31

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