Follow-up study of dental workers with removal of latex exposure

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Title Follow-up study of dental workers with removal of latex exposure
Year 2000
CREOD Investigators Joan Saary, A Khanani, Susan Tarlo, Linn Holness
CREOD Research Program Occupational Skin Disease
Research Theme Prevention
Funder Unfunded
Product Type Student project
Background In the 1990’s a high rate of latex allergy was found in dental workers.  One of the possible reasons was the use of powdered latex gloves.  A change to non-powdered gloves was introduced in a dental school as a prevention strategy.
Study Focus (Research Question/Goals/
Methods)
The objective of the study was to determine if the change to non-powered latex gloves led to a decrease in latex sensitivity in dental school staff and students.

A survey was conducted including a questionnaire and skin prick testing to natural rubber latex extract. And results compared to a similar survey conducted when powdered latex gloves were in use.

Key Findings
  • There was a reduction in itchy and urticaria and positive prick test to latex (3% vs 10%) in the follow-up survey.
  • In students who had entered the school after the introduction of powder free gloves, no positive skin prick tests to latex were found.
Implications for Health/Labour Policy and Practice The use of non-powdered latex gloves may lead to a decrease in latex sensitization in health care workers.
Publication Information Publications

  • Saary MJ, Tarlo SM, Kanani A, Holness DL. Reduction in rates of latex sensitivity among dental students and staff after changes in latex gloves. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2001;163:A809.
  • Saary MJ, Tarlo SM, Holness DL. Cutaneous complaints and exposure factors in dental students. Am J Contact Derm 2002;13:90.

Presentations

  • Saary MJ, Tarlo SM, Holness DL. Cutaneous complaints and exposure factors in dental students. American Contact Dermatitis Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, February 2002.