Be prepared for California latex glove ban

Distributors who sell disposable latex gloves in California should know of that state’s impending ban on latex glove use for restaurants, food service operations, and retail food establishments.

Signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 5 and effective Jan. 1, 2020, the law decrees that latex gloves will no longer be permitted in the food industry. This ban is similar to laws passed in such states as Ohio, Connecticut, Oregon, Hawaii, Arizona, and Rhode Island. Several more states are considering similar measures.

Try these alternatives to latex

Latex sensitivity and allergies have become serious issues. Making alternatives such as nitrile, polyethylene, or vinyl readily available in food service settings is of major importance to distributors.

AMMEX offers a number of alternatives, including:

X3 Ultra Industrial Blue Nitrile Gloves: X3 Ultra is AMMEX’s newest price fighter, and our most versatile value-priced glove. For applications from food service to auto detailing to janitorial & sanitation, it delivers the right balance between performance and price. X3 Ultra, between 2 and 3 mils thick, is made from the same premium nitrile as our heavy-duty gloves, but features greater dexterity and excellent tactile sensitivity. Powder free, latex free, and textured for a dependable grip, they are sold 100 gloves per box, 10 boxes per case, in sizes S-XL.

X3 Nitrile Gloves: These general-purpose blue nitrile gloves are highly dexterous and well-suited for short-duration applications where frequent glove changes are required—food service being a prime example. They are sold 100 gloves per box, 10 boxes per case, in sizes S-XXL, as well as in 200-count boxes.

X3 Black Nitrile Gloves: Great tactile sensitivity and dexterity combined with a professional look, these are the gloves of choice for many restaurants, especially for kitchen and front-of-house use. Sold 100 gloves per box, 10 boxes per case, in sizes S-XXL. Also available in 200-count boxes.

GPX3® Vinyl Gloves: Low-cost barrier protection for light-duty applications, they are a great value when repeated glove changes are necessary. Sold 100 gloves per box, 10 boxes per case, in sizes S-XL. Also available in boxes of 200.

Finally, relief for allergy sufferers

Proponents of the bill have lauded it as a welcome change for families that suffer from latex sensitivities. They say it will allow them to safely eat at restaurants throughout the state as well as protecting food service workers. While latex allergies directly affect about 6 percent of the population, repeated exposure to latex—even for those with no previous issues—can cause people to develop sensitivities.

Those frequently exposed to natural rubber latex through occupational or medical exposure are most likely to become allergic including health care workers, first responders, food service workers, elderly, children with spina bifida, and individuals who have had multiple medical procedures. People with eczema, asthma, or allergies are also at high risk for developing a latex allergy.

In food service, latex proteins transfer from utensils and gloves to the prepared food, which puts guests at risk. Latex particles can also become airborne when latex gloves are snapped on and off—putting food service workers at risk of a reaction and contaminating the kitchen with latex protein particles.

Be informed about the effects of latex

It is important for people who come into contact with latex to understand the symptoms of a reaction. An immediate reaction after contact with latex is an indication of an allergy. This type of response triggers the immune system, causing sneezing, a runny nose, coughing or wheezing, and an itchy throat or eyes.

For more information about latex allergies, visit the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Spina Bifida Association, the Allergy and Asthma Network, or Latex Allergy Awareness California (@LatexAllergyAwarenessCalifornia on Facebook).