I brought this up because at the lecture I heard, not sure when, probably around 95, the following was said:
Skin testing for latex allergy at a convention of OR nurses led to seveal anaphylactic reactions among those who did not think they were allergic at all.
Latex is highly allergenic - with repeated exposure most people will eventually become allergic. It can range from sensitivity, to total disability - because latex is so common in everyday things, once severe allergy basically home bound.
Powdered gloves are the worst culprits as the latex is aerosolized - spread around more, gets into lungs.
This MD, from Duke, I think, got his hospital to stop using latex and to stop using any form of powdered gloves (powder ain't great for lungs, whether with latex or not).
This is what I remember, I'm pretty sure I remember pretty well. My concern is that: most hospitals still use latex routinely; some still use powdered gloves, I've found (and posters confirmed); in most settings I've had no trouble getting vinyl but it was hard on a hospital floor - I have to keep them in my pocket.
I don't want to use latex gloves because
a - I don't want to itch, get secondary infections (this happened a couple of times, once ended up in hospital with MRSA infection, on hand, caught working in outpatient setting - eventually convinced docs to let me try topical tx and it went away without 2 wks of IV vanco). I am scrupilous in hand washing but nonintact skin carries that risk.
b - I don't want my sensitivity to reach the point where I can't go into any environment without latex.
Last job I tried to work at implied I was a troube maker because I wanted vinyl gloves, didn't I know they were more expensive?
This was a first for me, I was surprised. I wondered if they thought missed days due to secondary bacterial infections and disability claims were less expensive. Of course I didn't ask. Had I wanted to stay there, I would have ended up buying my own vinyl gloves because the employer had not seen their OSHA required duty.
Since I'm the one who is injured, I would have taken on the responsibility. Still, I was surprised at this lack of responsibilty on the employers part. Also, they still used powder, which I thought no one did.