Although latex and plastic seem very similar, they come from totally different sources: Latex is a natural product that originates from a tree, and plastic is made from petroleum, oil and chemicals. Both materials are helpful but can cause problems with allergies and environmental pollution.
Latex Is Made By Brazilian Rubber Trees
Brazilian rubber trees produce latex that is found under the tree’s bark. It serves as a protection for the tree trunk’s inner layers. When latex is taken
from a tree, it is a white liquid. Although it is a natural product, today’s latex has chemicals added to preserve it.
Rubber Tree Plantations In Malaysia were grown by the British in the 20th century to provide the latex needed for a variety of purposes. Around this time, ammonia and other chemicals began to be added to the natural latex product.
Some People Are Allergic To Latex
People are affected in different ways by a latex allergy. It can cause mild or serious reactions in those affected by latex. Someone with a true latex allergy may begin wheezing, having a runny nose and other symptoms by simply being near a latex product.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common cause of latex allergy is direct contact with the latex. This could be from wearing latex gloves or by touching something that contains latex. It is also possible to inhale particles of latex protein that are in the cornstarch placed inside the gloves to make them easier to put on your hands. If the cornstarch is inhaled, this may begin an allergic reaction.
Latex can also cause contact dermatitis, an itchy rash that is a lot like poison ivy. The skin rash can involve blisters and can last for up to two days. Although this latex allergy is irritating and bothersome, it usually affects only the area of skin that has come in contact with latex.
Some People with Latex Allergy Also Have Food Allergies
According to the Mayo Clinic, some foods contain the same allergens that are in latex. People who are allergic to latex have a higher chance of being
allergic to these foods, including bananas, avocados, kiwis, passion fruits and chestnuts.
Latex Products Should Be Avoided If You Have An Allergy
There are thousands of products that contain latex, and if you are allergic to this substance, it is important to avoid them. Some of these are household
products such as disposable diapers, sanitary pads, condoms, swim goggles, balloons, waistbands on clothing, carpeting, erasers, baby bottle nipples, and rubber bands.
Items used in hospitals or doctors’ offices are also sometimes a source of latex. Stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, syringes, and other common medical equipment may contain this substance.
Plastic is Used Even More Than Latex
Plastic is used in many different items that we use today, including toys, cars and almost everything else. Plastic begins with petroleum products such as
coal or oil. It is then put through several processes, and chemicals are added to form the type of plastic that is needed for many different purposes.
People do not have allergies to plastic in most cases, but this material has been harmful to the environment. The chemicals in the plastic can be dangerous when used for drinking or eating purposes. Companies that make plastic products are attempting to make safer products that are not harmful to humans. Many people today try to eliminate as much plastic from their lives as they can.