Governor JB Pritzker signed HB209 into law, restricting the use of latex gloves in food preparation and medical services and protecting thousands of Illinoisans from adverse allergic reactions.
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Latex allergies can range from skin irritation to severe anaphylaxis, preventing those suffering from patronizing restaurants that use the gloves in food preparation or serving or receiving care from many medical practitioners.
"We want to make sure that our spaces are accessible to all Illinoisans—including those with latex allergies," said Governor JB Pritzker. "With this legislation, we are preventing avoidable allergic reactions and subsequent hospitalizations. I am proud to sign this bill into law to help create a more accessible, considerate, and healthy Illinois."
Patients with latex allergies are negatively impacted by the prevalence of latex gloves in healthcare settings, but providers also suffer. Anyone who frequently uses latex gloves is at a higher risk of developing an allergy over time.
HB209 specifies that all emergency medical service providers must use other gloves, as well as any healthcare worker providing care to a patient who is unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate an medical history.
The legislation includes provisions for food service unable to source nonlatex gloves. If other gloves can't be obtained, latex gloves can be used providing prominent signage warns customers of the change. The same exception applies for medical providers, with specific instructions to prioritize available non-latex gloves for use on patients with latex allergies or patients unable to give medical history.
The law takes effect for food service establishments and EMS personnel on January 1, 2023 and on January 4, 2024 for health care facility personnel. ■
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