Medical representative and latex allergy


A medical representative started work for a pharmaceutical company. She showed no signs of latex allergy. Her daily job included visiting GP surgeries and hospitals.

After a few years' work, she started 'reacting' when healthcare workers put on and took off powdered latex gloves around her. Her skin began flushing and she had attacks of restrictive breathing. Once, her body became red all over within minutes of entering a GP consulting room where powdered gloves were used.

HSE investigation

HSE did not investigate the case.

However, her employer was very supportive and allowed her time off while a proper risk assessment was done.

She was diagnosed with 'Type 1 latex allergy' and told to avoid all rubber.


Her employer told her not to go into premises that used powdered latex gloves. By this time, following Government advice, most surgeries and hospitals had stopped using powdered latex gloves.

This meant she could return to a job that she enjoys. Any reactions she still suffers are less severe.

The Your trade section of this site provides top tips and advice on how to protect yourself if you are a healthcare worker

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