Latex Allergy Info

LATEX ALLERGY INFORMATION


Topics (select a topic below):

 

What is a Latex allergy?

What are the symptoms of Latex allergies?

Is there a cure for Latex allergies?

How do you prevent reactions to Latex?

What Latex products should you avoid?

What is being done to prevent Latex overexposures?

What role does the FDA have in preventing overexposures and reactions?

What role does your state's Health Department have in preventing overexposures and reactions?

What will happen if Latex use is not regulated?


Links & authoritative information for Latex allergies.

What is a Latex Allergy? A Latex allergy is an allergy that results from an overexposure to natural Latex rubber proteins. People around the country are getting sick on a regular basis but don't know why. Those who do figure out they are sensitive, allergic or are diagnosed with a Latex allergy don't know how to live with the illness and eventually spend years suffering through violent reactions. People are exposed to Latex in many places and don't even know it. Most reactions occur due to restaurants using Latex gloves in their food prep or in the latex rich atmosphere of a hospital or doctors' offices. However, any product containing Latex can cause a reaction.


 
 

What are the symptoms of Latex allergies? From speaking to many people suffering from Latex allergies, we have noticed that Latex allergies usually progress in phases. Initially most people will start to get skin rashes and maybe blisters or they may start with allergic rhinitis, or sinus inflammation. Eventually, after more exposure to Latex, some people will have an anaphylaxis reaction causing sudden shortness of breath and swelling. If someone gets to this point, they will usually start to notice many symptoms that they are not used to. Most symptoms are listed below. If you notice that you have many of these symptoms, consult your doctor. However, keep in mind that many professionals in the medical field don't know a lot about this allergy unless they have dealt with it directly. Get multiple opinions if you need to.
   

Skin Rash

Vomiting

Diarrhea

Difficulty Breathing

Sore Joints/Muscles

Nausea

Vertigo

Sore Throat

   
 


 
 

Is there a cure for Latex allergies? There currently is no cure for Latex allergies. However, there are specific ways to avoid Latex so that reactions are a rare occurrence. Since there is no cure, and avoidance is possible, Latex products must be regulated to make avoidance easier for those who suffer from the illness. Follow the steps in the next question to understand how to avoid Latex.


 
 

How do you prevent reactions to Latex? Follow the steps below to avoid reactions to Latex.

   

1.

Eat only at restaurants that are completely Latex free. Latex will adhere to any surface it comes in contact with. That means not only the food, but pots, pans, utensils, countertops and more. To sterilize a kitchen from a Latex contamination requires about 7 days of cleaning.

2.

Remove all Latex from your work environment. If you are showing symptoms, your employer will have to accommodate your illness, especially since the overexposure may have come from your work environment.

3.

Avoid latex products. Some products are made using latex and some are manufactured and processed with latex. The key to avoidance is understanding what products contain or are manufactured with Latex. Specifically, natural latex is what causes allergies because it contains the latex protein. If a product contains a mixture of natural and synthetic latex, you still may get a reaction from it. An example of this would be tires. Most tires contain a mixture of natural and synthetic latex. People with an advanced allergy to Latex any have an anaphylaxis reaction just because of the latex particles in the air. Check the list of Latex contaminated products in the next question.

4.

Avoid medical facilities that use Latex products. Most people think of just the Latex gloves. However, there are over 50,000 products that contain Latex.

 

 Click Here to see a list of medical products containing Latex.


 
 

What Latex products should you avoid? Below are just a few of the common products you should avoid that contain latex or are manufactured using latex.

 

Tires

Rubber Balloons

Many Medical Products

(Click Here for a list)

Cleaning Gloves

Tape

New Playgrounds with floor padding made with recycled tires

Mushrooms (often picked using latex gloves)

Latex Gloves

New Cars (the new car smell)

Most new carpeting

Many new shoes

Rugs

Adhesives

Rubber Fitness Center Flooring

Premade Salad (often processed using Latex gloves)

 

 
 

What is being done to prevent Latex overexposures? Unfortunately, most of the people who have the power to make a difference don't because they don't know about Latex allergies, think it costs too much money to make the change, or have some sort of "political" tie to the Latex allergy. The two main agencies that do have the power to make a real difference are the FDA and the Department of Health for each state. As of now very little has been done to prevent people from getting reactions. The goal of this site is to inform the people who can make this change and to show that there is a need for change.


 
 

What role does the FDA have in preventing overexposures and reactions?

One of the responsibilities of the FDA is to regulate preprocessed foods shipped in interstate commerce in other states. If the FDA is convinced that there is a threat to the health of the general public by a product, the FDA will suggest a recall to the producer of that product. If the producer does not comply, the FDA can seek legal action. According to the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, a "contamination with filth" applies to any food, drug, device, or cosmetic not securely protected from dust, dirt, and, as far as may be necessary and by all reasonable means, from all foreign or injurious contaminations. Latex is an injurious contamination to many people and many companies make foods and products that are contaminated by Latex. Hopefully, the FDA is taking steps to fix this problem.

CONTACT:

Contact the FDA yourself at www.FDA.gov

 

 

 
 

What role does your state's Health Department have in preventing overexposures and reactions? One of the roles of the Health Department in each state is the education of food workers and the general public and the routine inspection of food service operations that are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health. This is the first place where change should take place. The use of Latex gloves should be banned from all food service in each state. Arizona, Oregon, and Rhode Island have already banned Latex gloves from food service in their state. In these states, any establishment or restaurant using Latex gloves to prepare their food is fined. Making this law in each state would do nothing but benefit the local government because they have something else to collect fines on. Data collected from the petition and stories web pages on this site will be used towards making this law in each state. Contact your state's Department of Health to find out why this is not in effect. We would be glad to assist in any way possible.


 
 

What will happen if Latex use is not regulated?  We don't fully understand why some people acquire latex allergies and others don't. We do know that overexposure to natural Latex plays a large role. If overexposure is the main factor, there will be a lot of people in the future who will begin to suffer through the symptoms of Latex allergies.


 
 

More information, resources and links for Latex allergies:

Below are a bunch of links and resources that show extensive proof that most influential government agencies know there is a large problem with Latex allergies. But, why has no real action been taken to prevent reactions?

   

Center for Disease Control has a warning about the overexposure to natural Latex. Unfortunately, the CDC cannot create or enforce any restrictions

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/97-135/

Restricting Latex Glove Use in Food Service in Oregon:

www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/03/slides/3977s1_Heumann.ppt   

Food handler latex glove use prohibition in Arizona, found on the FDA site. Arizona is another Latex free state:

http://www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/AC/03/slides/3977s2_Herrington.ppt 

A comprehensive overview of symptoms, causes, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment and prevention from the Mayo Clinic:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/latex-allergy/DS00621  

An informational resource from OSHA offering safety standards, hazard recognition guidelines for the workplace and possible solutions:

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/latexallergy  

Overview of symptoms, types of reactions, diagnosis and treatment form the Cleveland Clinic. Includes detailed information about avoidance in public and in the home:

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Latex_Allergy  

Arizona Department of Health Services Food handling policies. View their laws on the use of latex in food prep on pages 45 and 51:

www.latexallergyinfo.com/fc2000.pdf  

The Rhode Island Department of Health Site. Rhode Island is also Latex free. They have a Latex awareness week!

http://www.health.ri.gov/publications/factsheets/FoodNoBareHandContact.pdf

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology:

http://www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/latexallergy.stm   

American Latex Allergy Association:

http://www.latexallergyresources.org/  

Federal Hazardous Substances Act created by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This document details their definition of a hazardous substance, yet they don't recognize Latex as a hazardous substance. See for yourself:

http://www.latexallergyinfo.com/HazardousSubstances.pdf 

An article by the New York Times explaining Latex allergies:

http://www.latexallergyinfo.com/Latex NY TImes Article.pdf

A docket sent to the FDA by the The National Latex Allergy Network (ELASTIC Inc.):

http://www.latexallergyinfo.com/FDADocket.pdf

Wisconsin appellate court awards healthcare worker $1 million for pain and suffering from a Latex allergy:

http://library.findlaw.com/2000/Aug/1/127714.html

   

 

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