23 January 2020

How to prevent latex allergies

How to avoid allergic reactions to latex?

Latex has very high elasticity and outstanding grip compared to other glove materials, especially when it has been processed to form a crinkled surface. Crinkle surface styles offer great grip, cut/tear resilience, and are often used in handling rough wood, boxes, cut stone, scrap metal, and concrete block. Latex also has good durability and strength and can withstand extreme temperatures.

However, the soluble protein content levels found in some latex coated gloves can cause allergic reactions for wearers who suffer from latex allergies.

Latex exposure reactions

Three types of reactions can occur when using latex gloves:

Irritant Contact Dermatitis

This is one of the most common negative reactions to latex. Symptoms include dry, itchy, irritated skin.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis (delayed hypersensitivity)

This reaction looks like a rash from contact with poison ivy and usually shows up 24-96 hours after contact.

Latex Allergy (immediate hypersensitivity)

This reaction tends to happen within minutes of exposure, however symptoms may show up a few hours later. Symptoms of a mild reaction include skin redness, hives or itching. A more serious reaction can show up as rhinitis and might include hay-fever like symptoms, runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, scratchy throat and coughing. Rare and severe latex allergies can even result in shock. It is rare, but symptoms may progress to include rapid heartbeat, tremors, chest pain, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, anaphylactic shock, or potentially, death.

How to avoid latex allergies

  • Use non-latex glove protection such as Nitrile or Vinyl (Filter our products )
  • Read the warning on the packaging/catalogue before ordering
  • Provide reduced-protein, powder-free gloves, if latex gloves are selected for use with infectious materials
  • Provide training to workers on latex allergies
  • Promptly arrange a medical evaluation for workers with symptoms of latex allergy. Provide these employees with non-latex gloves
  • Avoid oil-based creams or lotions when using latex gloves. They may cause the gloves to break down
  • Wash hands with a mild soap and dry hands completely after using gloves.

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