Illinois Governor Signs Ban on Latex Gloves in Healthcare

Governor Pritzker Signs Ban on Latex Gloves in Healthcare, Food Service Settings

CHICAGOIL (STL.News) Governor JB Pritzker signed HB209 into law today, restricting the use of latex gloves in food preparation and medical services and protecting thousands of Illinoisans from adverse allergic reactions.  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.

HB209 represents years of committed work by members of the allergy community, to reduce incidents of accidental latex exposure, in order to protect lives and increase the quality of life for those with latex sensitivities,” said State Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumberg).

“The frequent use of latex gloves has had an adverse effect many people who are simply just trying to go through their day-to-day life,” State Sen. Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) said.  “Banning latex gloves in food service is a simple step toward protecting our community.”

“This is a huge win for latex allergy patients.  They now are able to do something many of us may take for granted;  go out to eat with their family and friends without the paralyzing fear of a severe allergic reaction secondary to their food being handled by latex gloves,” said allergist and immunologist Dr. Priya Bansal.  “I can’t thank all of the legislators enough, especially Representative Mussman with her persistence and passion, as well as all of the advocates who banded together to make these strides for the health of our latex allergic friends and family.”

“This is such a monumental moment for all of us that struggle with this life-threatening allergy daily,” said bill advocate Christopher Krohe.  “We will finally be able to do things that others do without an issue.  I’m so grateful that we have Representatives and Senators that actually listen.  I’m so thankful that they worked with me and the other advocates I put together to get this bill written and passed.  After many hours of emails and conference calls and video meetings we finally made it to the finish line.  This is a BIG WIN.”