The American Latex Allergy Association is an organization that provides support for latex-allergic patients and their families that educates others in order to create awareness about latex allergies. This national not-for-profit organization is run by a board of directors consisting of professional advisers, elected officers and volunteers.
The association, formed by 30 health care workers who acquired allergies to latex during the course of their work, was originally called A.L.E.R.T. The mission as "Allergy to Latex Education and Resource Team" holds true despite the change in name, and the organization sends out a quarterly newsletter called The ALERT.
The ALAA has five goals including the following:
- To provide educational materials by phone, via its Web site, through presentations and by mailing out hard copies of information
- To provide emotional support for latex-allergic individuals and their families through local national support networks
- To promote the introduction of latex allergy-friendly policies into health care facilities
- To minimize exposure to latex in the workplace
- To promote continued research on latex allergies
To these ends, the ALAA has developed guidelines for emergency care of latex-allergic patients, as well as for the safety of latex-allergic students in schools. The organization also sponsors National Latex Allergy Awareness Week every October.
The ALAA offers a basic paid membership, as well as a professional membership for physicians. It also offers a free disability scholarship for members who have a limited income due to their latex allergy or another illness.
The organization's Web site offers links to resources, including the Online Resource Education Manual, as well as an online store that sells latex allergy information packets and latex allergy warning stickers.
The ALAA is endorsed by and has received grants from the ACAAI (the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology) and the AAAAI (the American Academy of Asthma Allergy and Immunology).