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OSHA RULING HELPS 300,000 WORKERS WHO SUFFER FROM LATEX ALLERGIES

 OSHA RULING HELPS 300,000 WORKERS WHO SUFFER FROM LATEX ALLERGIES
 CARY, N.C., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) approved its final rule on "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens" in December, health care institutions took it in stride. After all, most hospitals, clinics and medical offices have supplied employees protective gloves and face masks for several years now.
 But the law, which takes effect March 6, brings special relief to an estimated 300,000 health care workers who suffer allergic reactions to the latex used in surgical gloves. Under OSHA's new rule (29 CFR Part 1910.1030), "hypoallergenic gloves, glove liners, powderless gloves, or other similar alternatives 'shall be made accessible to those employees who are allergic to the gloves normally provided'."
 The Food and Drug Administration claims about six percent of hospital personnel are sensitive to latex.
 Traditionally, workers afflicted with latex allergies have used hypoallergenic gloves or cumbersome, cotton glove liners to protect their hands. Unfortunately, neither has proven a reliable solution, and many health care workers continue to use conventional gloves and suffer with skin irritations.
 All-Day glove liners, first introduced in 1990, has solved the latex sensitivity problem for thousands of health care professionals, according to its manufacturer, Polygenex International of Cary, N.C. Made from a new hybrid polymer fiber, the glove liners provide a barrier between the skin and the latex while enabling the user to retain the dexterity that latex gloves provide.
 The sheer material used in All-Day glove liners stretches 100 percent without tearing, so it fits the hand snugly. Latex gloves may be pulled on and off repeatedly while the All-Day liner remains in place. All-Day liners also keep the hands cool and dry due to the low (four percent) moisture take-up of the liners.
 All-Day glove liners come in a "clinical" model and an "extra thin" surgical model. The liners are reusable and may be sterilized with an autoclave, gamma radiation or ethylene oxide.
 According to one of Polygenex's principles, Joseph D. McGarry, the company expects to ship between two and three million of the glove liners in 1992.
 Polygenex also will introduce a hypoallergenic polymer glove sometime in March.
 -0- 1/30/92
 /CONTACT: Joseph D. McGarry of Polygenex International, 919-380-8100 or fax, 919-380-8115/ CO: Polygenex International ST: North Carolina IN: SU:


KK -- CL002 -- 5096 01/30/92 09:09 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 30, 1992
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