What is Latex and where does it come from?
Latex is a natural product that comes from the liquid of rubber trees. The liquid is extracted and then used in the manufacturing process of many products commonly used every day; gloves, tires, elastic on clothing, soles on shoes, rubber bands, etc.
As a renewable and biodegradable resource, natural latex is often a preferred choice for people when selecting gloves.
Latex Allergy Concerns
Concerns about latex allergies have grown in the last 15 years and it is estimated that between 1 and 6 percent of the general population is allergic to latex and up to 10% have a latex sensitivity.
Individuals affected by latex sensitivities and/or allergies usually involve those who regularly come in contact with latex and sensitivity develops over time. Additionally, those with Spina Bifida, food allergies and health care workers are affected more than others.
Latex allergies are classified into three different types of reactions:
Irritant Contact Dermatitis – A condition where an individual will experience a skin reaction such as redness, itchiness, dryness, hives or general irritation. Irritant Dermatitis is a reaction mainly caused by factors like: Frequent hand washing, climatic changes, strong chemicals and the like.
Type IV Contact Dermatitis – A rash that is frequently a result of the chemicals that are added to the latex, it can spread to other parts of the body and may not be apparent until a day or so after exposure.
Type I Immediate Hypersensitivity – This is an immediate reaction and in most cases will appear in various forms; hives, itchiness, redness, difficulty breathing and can even cause respiratory problems. This type of reaction may be very severe. This reaction could be similar to that of an insect sting seen in individuals with allergies to stings.
There are several things that Clean Ones does to minimize the effects of latex on those who have allergies or are sensitive
We ensure our manufacturing areas are free of contaminants that can cause increased reactions or allergies.
We use a pre and post production step called protein leaching that helps minimize the level of irritant causing latex proteins in our gloves.
All our latex gloves are washed and dried post production to further reduce the latex protein levels, resulting in lower reactions in latex sensitive individuals.
What should you do if you have or suspect a latex allergy?
Understanding signs of latex allergies is the first step in preventing issues. Skin sensitivities, itchiness, redness, or irritation to the nose and/or eyes are all signs. Seek out medical advice, alert others and switch to another type of glove.
How will I know if your gloves contain latex?
All of our gloves containing latex will have an allergy statement on the back of the package and we recommend anyone avoid contact with these gloves if you suspect a latex allergy or sensitivity.