Latex-free gloves are an important piece of daily safety equipment in various industries including healthcare, food service, and janitorial services. The number of people with latex allergies is growing. Some individuals may develop hives, itching, and swelling after coming into contact with latex, while others with more serious allergies could have difficulty breathing, anaphylaxis, and even death. For those with a latex allergy, coming into contact with latex gloves can be a serious health risk, so it's important to identify gloves that are free from this material for the safety of your staff and customers.
On December 2nd, 2014 the FDA issued a final guidance document regarding the labelling recommendations for medical device manufacturers and products that are not made using natural rubber latex.
The FDA notes using terms such as “latex-free” and “does not contain latex” may be confusing to users. These terms could imply that the product is free from natural rubber latex or synthetic latex. The FDA recommends that labeling be more specific to reduce confusion for users.
The final recommended labeling statement was “not made with natural rubber latex.” This statement lets users know that natural rubber latex was not used to create the final product and sends a clearer message to those looking for medical products such as gloves.
What to look for When Buying Latex-Free gloves
- The words “Latex-Free” or “No Natural Rubber Latex”. These labels indicate that the gloves do not contain natural rubber latex, which is the most common cause of latex allergies.
- A statement of material composition. This information helps individuals understand the materials used in the gloves and any potential risks associated with those materials
- The manufacturer’s name and address. This information allows individuals to contact the manufacturer for more information about the gloves, or in the event of a problem.
Best Practices for Labeling Latex-Free Gloves
Labeling latex-free gloves in the workplace is an important safety practice to help workers with latex allergies easily identify which gloves are safe for them to use. Additionally, labeling can also help prevent mix-ups between latex and latex-free gloves, which can happen if gloves are not clearly marked.
It is also important to note that the labeling of latex-free gloves can be beneficial not only to those with a latex allergy but to all workers in the workplace. For example, if workers need to switch between different types of gloves, labeling can help prevent confusion and ensure that they are using the correct type of glove for the job. This can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries on the job site.
It's not only important to label latex-free gloves, but also essential to ensure that there are enough latex-free gloves available in the workplace at all times. This can be achieved by working with suppliers to ensure that they are providing latex-free gloves and by ensuring that all employees are aware of the importance of using these gloves when necessary.