Latex products in the work pla

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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Over the last decade, many employees have developed allergies related to the use of latex. "The employees affected have mainly been found in healthcare, food services and in beauty services." As employees in these areas, as well as other areas have learned of the potential risk from the contraction of disease leading to death, caused by the exposure to bodily fluids, they have realized that the use of products to stop the exposure is absolutely essential. This has substantially increased and spread the use of latex products, mainly gloves. "The use of so many is very costly, so many employees turned to third world countries who produce a cheaper, untreated latex, which although it cannot be blamed alone for the development of latex allergies, does contribute to the problem." The repeated use of latex in the work place can lead to allergies that affect the worker's ability to function both at work and at home.

"The allergies developed can result in degree from a minor irritation to an anaphylactic shock. Out of the many types of allergic reactions only two types, Type I and Type IV have been observed as being related to latex. Type IV reactions have proved to be a response to additives used by the manufacturer. They are uncomfortable, but not life threatening. This is the opposite of Type I reactions. Type I reactions are caused by an antibody called IgE which recognizes the cause of the allergy from previous exposure." "The Type I allergens in latex products exist naturally. They remain in the latex during processing. Three proteins found to be involved with the latex allergies are Kd-14, Kd-20 and Kd-27. The proteins can be airborne through powder residue on the gloves, so they can be transmitted through the air. The proteins are also water-soluble. The...