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Latex Allergy Definition

·         Type I (immediate-type) hypersensitivity
Natural Rubber Latex Allergy (NRL) is an IgE-mediated, immediate type hypersensitivity reaction to one or more proteins in natural rubber latex (Hevea brasiliensis). Histamine is release causing symptoms. This reaction is systemic.

Type IV (delayed-type) hypersensitivity is a T cell-mediated, delayed response, and typically occurs 48 to 96 hours after exposure. This is frequently a reaction to the processing chemicals used in manufacturing natural rubber latex (NRL). This reaction is generally localized to the area of contact. This reaction is also referred to as allergic contact dermatitis, T-cell-mediated allergy, or chemical allergy.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis is a non-allergic reaction. Symptoms typically are dry, irritated, and/or fissured lesions.

For more information on the Types of Latex Allergy, Diagnosis and Treatment see:

Type I Versus Type IV Allergic Reactions: How Do They Differ? Dermatitis: Is It Irritation Or Allergy?

  • Latex Allergy Checklist:

Wear medical alert identification

Carry with you at all times: Medications, as prescribed by your allergist Non-latex gloves Letter from your allergist regarding your latex allergy statusNotify the following of your latex allergy and other pertinent information: Local EMS 911 dispatchLocal hospital Medical/dental providers Family members, friends, employer and co-workersAvoid:
Natural rubber latex gloves, balloons, condoms and other natural rubber products

Be Aware of and consult with your allergist regarding: Proper use of all medicationsFoods with cross reactive proteins to natural rubber"Hidden" latex on food prepared with latex glovesLactiferous plants that may have cross reactive proteins.

  • Hazard Recognition:

The following references aid in recognizing latex hazards in the workplace. Potential for Sensitization and Possible Allergic Reaction To Natural Rubber Latex Gloves and other Natural Rubber Products. OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB), (2008, January 28). Alerts field personnel, employees and employers about issues regarding sensitization and allergic reactions that have occurred in some individuals using natural rubber latex (NRL) products, particularly gloves, in the workplace setting. Occupational Latex Allergies. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Topic. Describes latex allergies and includes links to What's New Regarding Latex Allergies, NIOSH Publications on Latex Allergies, and Other Latex Allergy-Related Resources and Links. Medical Glove Powder Report. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Devices and Radiological Health, (1998, January 7). Discusses potential adverse health effects of glove powder and latex allergy. Reddy S. "Latex Allergy." American Family Physician. 1998 Jan 1;57(1):93-100. Contains a general overview of latex allergy, latex origin, allergic reactions and symptoms, and those at risk. Also, provides a Patient Information Handout.

  • Common Latex Products:

Gloves,Balloons,Condoms,Diaphragms,Bandages,(Adhesives)Pacifiers/ Baby Bottle, Nipples,Gutta Perch/ Gutta Balota ( used to seal root canals),Dental dams,Blood pressure cuffs, Stethoscope tubeing,Tourniquets, Dishwashing, gloves,Elastic,Spandex.

Also, many house hold product.