Latex allergies, which emerged as a medical concern in the early 90's, affects approximately 2 -3% of general population in the United States, including up to 10% of health care workers.
A select group of people are also at higher risk than others, such as healthcare workers, children and individuals with spina bifida, persons with multiple operations and certain industry workers, such as those in the rubber industry.
People at greatest risk include:
- people with allergies who may have cross reactions
- children with spina bifida or multiple surgeries;
- health care workers and housekeeping staff in health facilities;
- people who require frequent medical procedures, such as catheterization;
- child care providers;
- food service workers;
- workers in tire factories and rubber manufacturing; and
- others who must wear latex gloves at work.