Rubber and Latex Allergies

Written by Leanna Serras

Rubber latex is an extremely common ingredient that can be found in household products and in most homes. Balls, hoses, cologne, baby pacifiers, rubber bands, plastic gloves, perfume, and many more items may all have latex in them. Most people are not allergic to rubber and latex and have no problems touching or handling items with this ingredient. However, for some, a rubber and latex allergy can cause an allergic reaction from mild to severe.

Latex is made from a cloudy white liquid, which comes from the bark of the rubber tree, Hevea Brasiliensis. Latex is collected by cutting off thin strips of the bark and then permitting the latex to drip into a container for a certain number of hours. Latex contains rubber particles, water, sugar, ash, protein, and sterol glycosides. More facts about latex and rubber allergies can be viewed at the following:

? Latex Allergy Factsheet Facts about latex

? Made How How latex is made

? Mayo Clinic Risk factors, symptoms, treatment

? OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Some people are more at risk for rubber and latex allergies than others. Since medical and dental supplies commonly contain latex, health care workers are at the highest risk for developing a latex allergy. Those who already have hay fever are at an even higher risk. As many as 25 percent of the country’s health care personnel may have latex allergies if they already suffer from hay fever. Those who have undergone many operations, especially those performed when they were a child, persons with food allergies, and those who suffer from spina bifida, are also at risk for developing rubber and latex allergies. The following contains more literature about the dangers, risks, symptoms and treatments of latex allergies:

? Family Doctor Additional resources

? Cleveland Clinic Allergies to latex information

? Latex Allergy Resources More resources concerning latex allergies

? WebMD Common Latex items

? Cid Fragrances Cid perfumes and colognes

. Clinique Fragrances Clinique colognes and perfumes

. Emedicine Common Latex items

A latex allergy may show symptoms such as itchy and watery eyes, coughing, rashes or hives, shortness of breath, and sneezing. When latex gloves are worn, the patient may develop cracks, sores or bumps on their hands and wrists where they have come into contact with the latex. Some people may be highly allergic to latex and can have life-threatening reactions, such as vomiting, confusion and difficulty breathing. If you think you may have a latex allergy, it is best to talk to a doctor to be tested. A blood test may be performed to confirm the allergy.

Since latex is in many things commonly found around the home, care should be taken to know what you are handling that may cause a reaction. Knowing the most commonly used latex and rubber items can help to avoid them altogether.