HOUSE, No. 4553


The committee on Health Care, to whom was referred the petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2804) of Vincent A. Pedone for legislation to further regulate the use of latex gloves in health care facilities, reports recommending that the accompanying bill (House, No. 4553) ought to pass.

For the committee,


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In the Year Two Thousand and Four.


      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. Natural Rubber Latex Glove Safety.
(a) Any health care facility regulated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts which uses natural rubber 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 those who have natural rubber allergy should avoid exposure to natural rubber products;
(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 natural rubber latex safety.
(e) Health care facilities shall ensure that direct care workers are represented on natural rubber 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.