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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1995 Mar;151(3 Pt 1):887-91.

Latex gloves with a lower protein content reduce bronchial reactions in subjects with occupational asthma caused by latex.

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  • 1Department of Chest Medicine, Mont-Godinne Hospital, Catholic University of Louvain, Yvoir, Belgium.


Latex gloves have been documented as causing rhinitis and asthma. Using inhalation challenges, we evaluated the bronchial response to hypoallergenic gloves in eight health care workers with latex-induced asthma. The subjects were exposed to the powdered latex gloves causing asthma at work and various brands of gloves with a lower protein content, either low-powdered, nonpowdered, or powdered. Exposure to hypoallergenic gloves resulted in the absence (in six subjects) or a significant reduction (in two subjects) of bronchial response. The effects of repeated exposure to hypoallergenic gloves was assessed in two subjects who did not demonstrate changes in peak expiratory flow rates and nonspecific bronchial responsiveness to histamine. This study on a limited number of patients suggests that the use of hypoallergenic gloves could be an effective means of reducing the risk of asthmatic reactions in health care workers with latex-induced asthma when complete avoidance cannot be achieved. The long-term effect of exposure as well as the widespread use of hypoallergenic gloves warrant further investigation on larger cohorts of subjects.

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