What is latex?

Latex is a natural rubber produced by the sap of a type of rubber tree, Havea brasiliensis. It has now been in use for over a century. Latex has small proteins which are water soluble, and at least 10 proteins which can cause adverse reactions have been identified. Chemicals involved in the treatment and processing of latex may also cause allergic reactions. Latex is treated to enhance its structural properties.

Latex products can either be made by pouring latex into a mould, or dipping a mould into latex to form a coating. Products formed by dipping include gloves and balloons, and tend to contain higher amounts of allergens (chemicals that trigger an allergy). Cornstarch is applied to the surface of gloves to stop them being sticky – latex proteins can stick to the cornstarch particles, and these particles can become airborne when removing gloves. Low-protein, low-powder gloves are available for people who aren't sensitised to latex yet, but can still cause allergies.

Anaphylaxis Guide Index:

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved