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October 2-8, 2022: Latex Allergy Awareness Week

WHEREAS, latex allergy patients face a constant threat to their lives from exposure to natural rubber latex allergens; reactions can be elicited by touching a product containing natural rubber latex, breathing airborne latex proteins, or digesting food prepared using latex gloves; and,

WHEREAS, the incidence of latex allergies has increased due to widespread exposure to products containing latex; and,

WHEREAS, up to 6 percent of people in the United States are estimated to have latex allergies, including up to 10-17 percent of health care workers, up to 17 percent of restaurant workers; and,

WHEREAS, exposure to natural rubber latex is the second most common cause of anaphylaxis in the operating room; and,

WHEREAS, individuals with a latex allergy may also experience allergic symptoms when eating certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts, including, among other things, banana, avocado, kiwi, tomato, carrot, and chestnut; and,

WHEREAS, there is no cure for a latex allergy, and every exposure increases the sensitivity and severity of the patient’s condition, with distress and rebound reactions for days after exposure; and,

WHEREAS, latex allergies can only be prevented by avoiding all latex-related products, which can be found in homes, childcare centers, stores, schools, workplaces, and health care environments, among other places; and,

WHEREAS, natural rubber latex is found in over 40,000 products, including, but not limited to, hair accessories, toys, balloons, school and office supplies, sports equipment, medications, and medical devices, resulting in a daily struggle for latex allergy patients to balance life and work with staying safe and healthy; and,

WHEREAS, latex allergies result in a growing number of workers’ compensation claims arising from workplace exposure to products containing natural rubber latex; and,

WHEREAS, the Allergy and Asthma Network creates awareness of latex allergies through education and provides support to individuals who have been diagnosed with a latex allergy;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer governor of Michigan do hereby proclaim October 2-8, 2022, as Latex Allergy Awareness Week in Michigan.