Latex is a milky fluid that comes from a Brazilian rubber tree (Hevea Brasiliensis). Hundreds of everyday products contain latex. Below are examples of latex products:
- Dishwashing gloves
- Waistbands on clothing
- Rubber toys
- Pacifiers and baby-bottle nipples
- Rubber bands
- Adhesive tape and bandages
- Diapers and sanitary pads
Repeated exposure to the protein found in latex increases one’s chances of developing a latex allergy. Latex is an allergen in people with significant cumulative exposure (e.g. health care and rubber industry workers) as well as those who undergo repeated surgeries, especially early in life. The prevalence of latex allergy has increased as the use of rubber gloves in health care settings has increased as latex particles can adhere to the cornstarch used to powder gloves.
People with latex allergies often first have allergies to fresh fruits like bananas, avocados, kiwis and papaya, as well as to chestnuts.
Many individuals have not been identified and do not recognize that their symptoms are caused by latex allergy.
- Red itchy rash where you were exposed to latex
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Asthma, coughing or wheezing
- Anaphylactic shock
- Drop in blood pressure
- Slurred speech
- Rapid or weak pulse
- Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
- Blue tinge to the skin, lips or nails