November 5, 2013

It’s been about a month since the official Latex Allergy Awareness Week in the United States.  This is sponsored by the American Latex Allergy Association in Wisconsin. They have been at this for 20 years which is commendable.  Latex allergy is particularly difficult to avoid since naturalized latex rubber is found in so many industrial and everyday household items.  Obvious examples are balloons, latex gloves and rubber bands.  Sometimes these items are coated with powder or corn starch and when the dust from these powders become airborne, it can be inhaled causing allergic reactions.  Certain types of professions like health care are exposed to natural latex more frequently than others.  I thought it was interesting how the rise of blood-borne diseases like HIV or HepB in the 1980s caused the use of rubber gloves to skyrocket.  And when this happened many more people became hypersensitive to the natural rubber protein in the gloves and consequently they developed latex allergies.  The consequences of addressing one problem breaks something else.  Fix this, break that.  

Tags: Consumer Product Safety · Food & Travel Safety · Medical Conditions · Travel Safety