Latex allergy is best described as an allergic reaction to substances in natural latex. An allergy is also defined as a hypersensitivity reaction of the immune system. Allergic reactions occur when a person’s immune system reacts to non toxin substances in the environment, in this case latex.
Latex can occur in the natural or synthetic form. It is found in the milky fluid in about 10% of flowering plants. Latex is a complex mixture of at least two liquids that are normally not compatible with each other, consisting of tannins, resins, oils, starches, sugars, alkaloids, proteins and gums that go solid when exposed to air. Plants usually exude latex after they are injured, rather like a human bleeds after a skin lesion. Natural latex is usually white, but can be orange, scarlet and yellow. Latex acts as a defense against insects for plants.
Rubber gloves are the main source of allergic reactions. Latex is also used in a wide range of products, such as condoms and some medical devices. Latex is used in over 40,000 products with many different uses.
Examples of products we use that may have latex in them, include:
Blood pressure cuffs
Dental items, such as dams and orthodontic rubber bands
Elastic waistbands in pants and underwear
Rubber cement (used in schools and offices)
Rugs and bathmats
Some articles of clothing
Some medical devices
Not all the brands contain latex. People with allergies should get in touch with the manufacturers.There are many company providers that have taken the time to provide several products that are latex free, like Avcor Health, based in Fort Worth, Texas who is a nation wide distributor of Medical bandages, tourniquets and cold compression therapy. http://www.avcorhealth.com