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Successful latex claim completed by Leigh Day

Daniel Easton, solicitor in the industrial diseases team at law firm Leigh Day, has successfully concluded a claim for a client suffering from a latex allergy.

Photo: istock

1 November 2006

A latex allergy sufferer has recovered £15,000 from her employer following her development of a latex allergy. Hazel Smulders was employed by Glaxosmithkline and their predecessors as an animal technician/lab technician for many years. Throughout her employment she used latex gloves on a daily basis until changes were instituted in 2003.

Until 2003, her employer provided powdered latex gloves. As a result Hazel developed a sensitivity to latex products which was shown in a skin reaction, itching eyes and wheeziness.

Latex allergies are becoming more common with health care workers and can range from skin reactions to severe respiratory problems which can result in anaphylaxis and potentially could be fatal. The allergy is permanent and once a sufferer develops an allergy they cannot be de-sensitised to latex.

Nevertheless the use of latex gloves in the healthcare industry is still widespread, despite there having been numerous articles and notifications to industries since the mid-1990s.

The importance of using effective but safe protective gloves is of vital importance in many jobs.  For example, nearly half of Britain's hairdressers are estimated to be suffering from career-threatening skin diseases such as dermatitis which is caused by the chemicals they use in their work.  To avoid these problems gloves made of vinyl or nitrile, rather than latex, are recommended.

Hazel Smulders was represented by Daniel Easton in Leigh Day’s Industrial Disease team. 

For further information please contact Daniel on 020 7650 1200.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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