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Latex Allergy

Natural Rubber Latex Allergy. 

Latex Garments are produced from Natural Rubber Latex as opposed to butyl - or petroleum-based synthetic rubbers. 

Natural rubber latex (NRL) is a milky fluid obtained from the Hevea brasiliensis tree, which is widely grown in South East Asia, and other countries. NRL is an integral part of thousands of everyday consumer and healthcare items. 

The proteins contained with NRL can cause allergic reactions to Latex. More than 40,000 products used in homes, schools and medical settings contain latex, including common items such as: condoms, rubber bands, computer mouse mats, balloons, carpet backing, surgical and examination gloves, clothing elastic, toys, sink mats, foam pillows, anaesthesia equipment, IV catheters, elastic bandages, adhesive tape, electrode pads, etc.

An allergy to certain latex products emerged as an occupational disease, particularly within healthcare in the 1980s. Symptoms of the immediate type of allergy produced ranges from rash, itchy or runny eyes or nose, sneezing and coughing to chest tightness, shortness of breath and anaphylactic shock.

People who are allergic to latex may also react to banana, avocado, kiwi fruit, chestnut, plum, peach, cherry, apricot, fig, papaya, tomato, potato and some other plant foods. The list is still growing. The reason is that these plants contain proteins, which are similar enough to latex proteins to react with our allergy-producing antibodies to latex. 

Latex allergy, or hypersensitivity, occurs when the body's immune system reacts to proteins found in NRL. Some individuals have specific antibodies, called IgE antibodies, that make them hypersensitive to the proteins in NRL. IgE-mediated reactions to latex proteins are responsible for most, and for the most severe allergic reactions to latex.

 The onus is on you, the consumer, to ensure that you do not have this problem prior to making purchase.