10 Surprising Places Where Latex Lurks

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD on January 15, 2020

Latex allergies can trigger hives, itching, wheezing and even difficulty breathing. In some cases, the reaction can be serious, so you do need to look out for it. If you’re allergic to it, it may seem like latex is everywhere.

While it may not be everywhere, latex can be found in some surprising everyday places. Like these 10:

  1. Some adhesive bandages
  2. Grocery store checkout belts
  3. Restaurants where workers use latex gloves for food preparation
  4. Balloons
  5. Spandex
  6. ATM machines with rubber buttons
  7. Blood pressure cuffs and EKG pads
  8. Carpet
  9. Car races -- tire and rubber particles could be in the air

Tips to Avoid Latex

There are things you can do to avoid latex in your everyday life. For instance:

  • Call a restaurant or hair salon before you visit to find out if the staff wears latex gloves.
  • Buy Mylar balloons instead of rubber ones.
  • Instead of rubber bands, use paper clips, string, or twine.
  • If you're not sure if something has latex in it, read the label carefully.
  • While latex used to be commonly used in medical and dental offices, that is no longer the case. Still it is a good idea to warn your health care provider about your allergy when you make your appointment.


WebMD Medical Reference



The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

American Latex Allergy Association: "Common Latex Products."

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