Latex Gloves ---

Latex products are manufactured from a milky fluid derived from the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis . Several chemicals are added to this fluid during the processing and manufacture of commercial latex. Some proteins in latex can cause a range of mild to severe allergic reactions. Currently available methods of measurement do not provide easy or consistent identification of allergy-causing proteins (antigens) and their concentrations. Until well accepted standardized tests are available, total protein serves as a useful indicator of the exposure of concern. [Beezhold et al. 1996a]. The chemicals added during processing may also cause skin rashes. Several types of synthetic rubber are also referred to as "latex," but these do not release the proteins that cause allergic reactions.

Products Containing Latex

A wide variety of products contain latex: medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and numerous household objects. Most people who encounter latex products only through their general use in society have no health problems from the use of these products. Workers who repeatedly use latex products are the focus of this Alert. The following are examples of products that may contain latex:

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