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Latex Allergy

What Latex Products Should I Avoid Outside the Home?

If you have a latex allergy, these are products to be aware of:

  • Grocery store checkout belts
  • Restaurants where workers use latex gloves for food preparation (call ahead to ensure your safety)
  • Balloons
  • Auto races that emit tire and rubber particles
  • ATM machine buttons (often made of rubber)

Other products containing rubber include:

  • Tourniquets
  • Blood Pressure Pads
  • EKG pads
  • Some adhesive bandages
  • Dental devices

Latex Alternatives

There are many alternatives that can be used in place of latex. These include:

Latex Product Alternative
Balloons Mylar balloons
Baby toys Plastic or cloth toys
Bottle nipples Silicone nipples
Condoms Sheep cecum condoms (for birth control only)
Elastic bands Paper clips, string, or twine
Household gloves Synthetic or cotton gloves
Raincoat Nylon or synthetic waterproof coats
Shoes with rubber Leather or synthetic shoes
Telephone cords Clear cords

What Should I Do About Latex at the Doctor's Office?

If you have a known latex allergy and must visit the doctor or dentist, inform the doctor of your latex allergy at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment. The hospital or doctor's office should have a latex-free protocol that they follow for patients with latex allergies.

If you have to stay in the hospital, you will usually be given your own room, free of latex products.

Do I Have to Change My Diet if I'm Allergic to Latex?

Latex allergies may also cross over into food groups. Or if you are already allergic to certain foods, you may be at high risk for developing a latex allergy.

The following foods can trigger a latex-like allergic reaction because the proteins in them mimic latex proteins as they break down in the body:

Banana Fig
Kiwi Peach
Grape Celery
Papaya Tomato
Nectarine Avocado
Melon Potato
Cherry Rye
Strawberry Wheat
Plum Chestnut
Pineapple Hazelnut

Note: Only a small minority of people who have these food allergies will also have latex allergies.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Norman Levine, MD on July 12, 2012

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