§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent studies he has undertaken into the(a) cause, (b) prevalence and (c) treatment and management of latex allergy (i) among national health service workers and (ii) in the wider population. 
§ Mr. Hutton
[holding answer 18 December 2001]: The Medical Devices Agency regularly investigates the risks posed to patients and healthcare workers and along with the Department of Health, issues relevant guidance. Latex is recognised as a sensitiser or substance hazardous to health as defined by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH 1994) and Health Service Circular 1999/186 instructed that individuals who are sensitised to latex should stop using latex medical gloves and be provided with gloves made from an alternative material.