223932 Health Care Workers Relationship Between the Use of Latex and Chemicals such as glutaraldehyde and Asthma

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Deepa Vinodkumar Dillikar, MPH , Environmental & Occupational Health, FIU Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Miami, FL
Sandeep P. Potdar , Environmental & Occupational Health, FIU Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Miami, FL
Shafia Rubeen , Environmental & Occupational Health, FIU Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Miami, FL
Michael A. Melchior, MPH, PhD(c) , Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, FIU Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Miami, FL
Janvier Gasana, MD PhD , Environmental & Occupational Health, FIU Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Miami, FL
Background

Occupational exposures are important contributors to asthma in health care providers. U.S. data suggest an increased risk of work-related asthma among health care workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates 8-12 % of health care workers are sensitized to latex.

Methods

Articles from 1999-2009 related to air pollution near highways were retrieved from Highwire and Pubmed search engines. Primary intervention studies on natural rubber latex published since 1990- 2009 were identified and reviewed. Confidence interval related to natural rubber latex (NRL) allergy, NRL allergy %, NRL induced occupational asthma %, and the subjects (n) were obtained. Using meta analysis, results were stratified.

Results

This review found an approximate two-fold increase in the likelihood of developing asthma after beginning a health care profession for tasks involving instrument cleaning and disinfection, general cleaning, use of powdered latex gloves, and the administration of aerosolized medications. These positions are often staffed by minority workers and those of low socioeconomic status. Continued exposure to latex antigens can result in progressive morbidity and possible mortality from anaphylactic reactions

Conclusion

There is an immediate need to develop synthetic rubber gloves with satisfactory mechanical properties at a lower expense and evaluate its effectiveness prior to its implementation. Respiratory Therapists have more than twice the risk of having wheeze and asthma attacks. The study concluded that improvements were necessary in all aspects of work components with chemical disinfectants such as glutaraldehyde and use of latex as health workers may be at an increased risk for asthma-like symptoms.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the risk of work related asthma in health care workers due to use of latex with the help of meta analysis. 2. Evaluate the need for early and accurate diagnosis of occupational asthma in order to implement appropriate management. 3. Assess primary prevention and preventive measures for latex allergy. 4. Identify financial benefits from creating a latex-safe environment in health care facilities.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Asthma

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Doctor of Osteopathic medicine, trained in India. I am currently finishing up a Master's degree in Public Health with a concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health. I have been working on asthma research studies for the past 2 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.