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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neonatal sensitization to latex.

Babies born in delivery rooms of hospitals are exposed to latex through skin and mucous membrane contact with prepowdered latex gloves worn by midwives and doctors, and through the inhalation of latex-bound starch powder in the air of the delivery room. This paper examines the hypothesis that they are at risk for latex sensitization, and that part of the sharp increase of childhood asthma, eczema and anaphylaxis in the past 30-40 years may be linked. These possibilities seem hitherto unsuspected. In over 700 papers on latex allergy no mention of neonatal exposure to latex has been found. Even obstetric papers discussing the risks for an atopic mother (atopy - a tendency to develop allergies) do not seem to anticipate any risk for the baby, who might also be atopic. Latex allergy is primarily regarded as an occupational hazard. This paper suggests that it is a hazard for every baby handled by latex gloves at birth.[1]


  1. Neonatal sensitization to latex. Worth, J. Med. Hypotheses (2000) [Pubmed]
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