ERJ staff report (DS)
Washington, DC -- The Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC) has expressed its concern regarding a recent petition calling for a ban on all natural rubber latex medical gloves.
The petition was filed by a group called Public Citizen to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and argued that the gloves pose a danger to patients and medical workers.
However, said MREPC, the current use of low-protein, low-allergen latex gloves is consistent with recommendations by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
There is no clear evidence that any benefit would result from a ban on latex gloves as requested by this petition, according to the MREPC.
MREPC officials said that not only does the petition run counter to the recommendations of major health and safety organisations, if taken seriously it could eliminate the medical gloves with the best track record for barrier protection and environmental safety at a time when such protection is of utmost importance.
Past concerns about latex allergies prompted the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia to develop a new standard for low-protein, low-powder and powder-free latex examination gloves. Formulated in consultation with the US Food and Drug Administration and other relevant authorities, the Standard Malaysian Glove (SMG) provides the US healthcare industry with latex gloves certified to meet stringent barrier and tensile strength specifications as well as rigorous standards for protein and powder contents.
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Press release from MREPC