Manitoba Liberals Introduce Latex Control bill to coincide with Latex Allergy Awareness Week

October 9, 2020

Today, Jon Gerrard, Manitoba Liberal Health Critic and MLA for River Heights, introduced a bill which will help improve the lives of individuals living with a Latex Allergy in Manitoba. The bill will ban the sale and use of gloves containing latex as of January 1, 2022. It is being introduced during Latex Allergy Awareness Week (October 4-10, 2020).

The bill draws attention to and raises significant awareness to the struggles of those with latex allergies, and the need to provide help for them.

"For years, individuals with severe Latex Allergy have had to live with the fear that they will be exposed to latex as they go about their day-to-day lives," says Gerrard. "This fear and concern have been heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic as more and more people have been using latex gloves to protect themselves from the virus."

Latex Allergy is complex because everyone's experience with the condition is unique. In most cases, a latex allergy develops after many previous exposures to latex. Symptoms may include hives, itching, asthma symptoms, and in extreme cases, difficulty breathing.

With satisfactory alternatives available at a similar cost, there is no longer a need for latex gloves for almost all purposes. The bill does make an exception for the use of latex gloves when needed in a research project or for surgeons who can show a critical need for latex gloves.

Barb Greiss, a woman with a severe latex allergy says, "My life, ordinarily difficult with a severe airborne latex allergy, has been made extraordinarily difficult with the COVID-19 pandemic. This change to eliminate the use of latex gloves is badly needed. I thank, Dr. Gerrard for taking the time to validate my concerns and to the members of the Legislature for considering this potentially lifesaving bill, and urge them to pass it."


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