Non-latex products recommended

NSW Health policy on the prevention and management of latex allergy is that only powder-free, or non-latex gloves are to be used in NSW health care facilities.

The policy adopted in 2000 states:

‘The gradual replacement of latex containing products with non-latex-products where available and appropriate is recommended.
‘As a minimum, a latex powder-free work environment must be provided to protect latex allergic em-ployees. Sources of patients to that area are to also be latex powder-free.

‘Latex allergic workers shall only use non-latex gloves and other products, and avoid contact with all latex-containing products.

‘Housekeeping should be meticulously carried out to remove all traces of latex allergens.’

The policy can be downloaded from www.health.nsw.gov.au/policies/pd/2005/PD2005_490.html

Latex is commonly found in the following hospital equipment:

  • Blood pressure cuffs
  • Stethoscopes
  • Gloves
  • Oral and nasal airways
  • Endotracheal tubes
  • Tourniquets
  • Intravenous tubing
  • Syringes
  • Electrode pads
  • Anaesthesia masks
  • Catheters
  • Wound drains
  • Injection ports
  • Rubber tops of pharmaceutical vials
  • Dental dams

Personal protective equipment containing latex include:

  • Gloves
  • Surgical masks
  • Goggles
  • Respirators
  • Rubber aprons
  • Hearing protectors