HOUSE, No. 2804

By Mr. Pedone of Worcester, petition of Vincent A. Pedone for legislation to further regulate the use of latex gloves in health care facilities. Health Care.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In the Year Two Thousand and Three.


      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 217 the following new section:—
Section 218. Latex Glove Safety.
(a) Any health care facility regulated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts which uses latex gloves shall post a notice informing employees and the public:
(1) that natural rubber latex gloves are used by said regulated entity;
(2) that exposure to latex may result in the development of an allergy;
(3) that allergic reactions to natural rubber latex can manifest by skin rash, hives, nasal and eye irritation, asthma, and shock; and
(4) that should you or your family experience allergic reaction symptoms, then you should contact your health care provider.
(b) Said notice shall include letters which are at least three-eighths (3/8) of an inch high and be posted in conspicuous areas throughout the facility.
(c) Said notice shall be posted in English, Spanish, and other languages served by the health care facility.
(d) Health care workers shall be provided with initial and periodic education pertaining to latex safety.
(e) Health care facilities shall ensure that direct care workers are represented on latex allergy or safety committees.
(f) It shall be the duty of the commissioner of the department of public health to enforce the provisions of this chapter and to prosecute all persons who violate this chapter. In all such enforcements and prosecutions, the director shall not be required to enter into any recognizance or give surety for costs.
(g) Any facility which violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of five hundred dollars ($500), and may be subject to any and all penalties provided for in General Laws which regulate said industry, including revocation of licenses.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.