You cannot believe everything you read about any topic, and latex is no exception. The following myths and tips are included here to help you understand the truth about latex.
Myth: Latex causes allergies.
Truth: Certain antigenic proteins in natural rubber latex, not latex itself, trigger allergies. These proteins can be removed to create a better latex that is acceptable by industry standards.
Tip: Look for natural rubber latex products carrying the “Vytex® NRL” logo for a better latex with greatly reduced protein levels.
Myth: I am not allergic to latex so I don’t have to be concerned.
Truth: While up to 3% of the general population is at risk for a latex allergy, that figure jumps to as high as 17% in the healthcare industry. This suggests that latex allergies are caused by repeat exposure to latex allergens.
Tip: By using natural rubber latex products with low antigenic protein levels, you are helping to reduce your risk of ever developing a sensitivity to natural rubber latex.
Myth: Some healthcare facilities are “latex-free.”
Truth: Due to pervasive use of latex in everything from footwear and clothing to parts on equipment and storage units, it is virtually impossible to create a latex-free environment. However, by using only latex-safe and latex-free devices many healthcare facilities make it unlikely that a patient would suffer an allergic reaction.
Tip: If you are allergic to the proteins in natural rubber latex, notify your healthcare provider and remind attending personnel of your condition.
Myth: Everything that manufacturers call latex is natural rubber latex.
Truth: Many companies will call their synthetic material latex, but this does not mean that it is natural rubber latex, produced from natural tree sap. It might be synthetic latex produced from oil based chemicals or a combination of both.