SENATE, No. 2711

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED APRIL 25, 2013

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex)

Senator† SANDRA B. CUNNINGHAM

District 31 (Hudson)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Directs DOH to develop plan to phase out use of latex gloves in health care facilities and food establishments.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning the use of latex gloves and supplementing Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† The Legislature finds and declares that:

†††† a.†††† Latex allergies are increasingly becoming a problem for health care workers, patients, food service workers, and consumers of food products handled with latex gloves, and is recognized as a serious occupational health risk by the Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

†††† b.††† When exposed to latex gloves or latex glove residue, a personís reaction to latex may manifest itself through skin rashes, hives, itching, swollen skin, swollen lips and tongue, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, eye or sinus symptoms, asthma and difficulty breathing, coughing spells, wheezing, shock, and even death;

†††† c.†††† In 1997, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued an alert concerning the danger of exposure to latex products and requested assistance in preventing allergic reactions to natural rubber latex among workers who use gloves and other products containing latex;†

†††† d.††† NIOSH recommended that workers be provided with non-latex gloves to use when there is little potential contact with infectious materials, such as in the food industry, as food products may become adulterated when they come into direct contact with latex gloves because of the residue the gloves leave behind;

†††† e.†††† In January 2008, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Safety and Health Information Bulletin concerning the potential harm to workers from natural rubber latex gloves and other natural rubber products.† The bulletin stated that the two major routes of occupational exposure are dermal contact and inhalation.† Inhalation exposure can result from the use of latex gloves, particularly when glove powder acts as a carrier for natural rubber latex protein, which becomes airborne when the gloves are donned or removed;†

†††† f.†††† In its 2008 bulletin, OSHA recommended strategies for risk reduction, which include the use of gloves made out of alternative materials that maintain adequate barrier protection from hazardous substances;

†††† g.†††† Legislation has been introduced in several states, including Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island, to limit or ban the use of latex gloves from health care facilities and food establishments; and

†††† h.†††† It is in the interest of New Jersey to join these states in banning the use of latex gloves from health care facilities and food service establishments for the health and well-being of those who suffer with allergies to latex and are exposed to latex gloves or latex glove residue.

 

†††† 2.††† The Commissioner of Health, in consultation with representatives of health care facilities licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.) and food establishments as defined in R.S.24:15-1, shall develop a plan to phase out the use of latex gloves in health care facilities and food establishments.

 

†††† 3.††† The commissioner shall submit the plan to the Governor and to the Legislature, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), within 180 days of the date of enactment of this act, and shall propose the plan, as a department regulation, in the New Jersey Register after submitting the plan to the Governor and Legislature.

 

†††† 4.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill directs the Commissioner of Health, in consultation with representatives of health care facilities and food service establishments, to develop a plan to phase out the use of latex gloves in licensed health care facilities and food service establishments.†

†††† Latex allergies are increasingly becoming a problem for health care workers, patients, food service workers, and consumers of food products handled with latex gloves; and the dangers of exposure to latex gloves is recognized as a serious occupational health risk by the Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.† The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommend that workers be provided with non-latex gloves in order to reduce the risk of causing latex sensitization and allergies.

†††† This bill also directs the commissioner to submit the plan to the Governor and the Legislature within 180 days of the date of enactment of the bill, and propose the plan, as a Department of Health regulation, in the New Jersey Register after submitting the plan to the Governor and Legislature.