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At Elastoplast, we are constantly striving to increase our range of latex-free products and packaging. From 2021, the majority of the Elastoplast range will be genuinely latex-free. This change makes Elastoplast a frontrunner in genuinely latex-free products.
What is latex? Why does latex cause allergic reactions?
The term ‘latex’ refers to natural rubber latex, a material manufactured from a milky white fluid derived from the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. Latex materials are used in a wide range of everyday objects, from rubber bands and balloons to babies’ dummies and condoms – as well as many plasters and bandages.
There are two types of latex allergy: type I and type IV.
- If a person with a type I latex allergy comes into contact with the material, it can immediately trigger a serious allergic reaction ranging from contact urticaria (localised swelling and redness similar to a bee-sting reaction) and extreme itchiness to asthma-like symptoms, a tight feeling across the chest and, in the most serious cases, anaphylaxis.
- Type IV is the more common – and far less serious – form of latex allergy. It usually manifests itself as contact dermatitis, with delayed onset from 12 to 48 hours after skin contact.
Latex allergies are more common in people who have existing allergies, such as hay fever and allergies to certain fruits and nuts. However, a type IV allergy to latex can develop into a type I allergy following prolonged or repeated exposure. This is why people who often wear personal protective equipment (PPE) containing latex are more likely to have a latex allergy.
Latex allergies require proper diagnoses, particularly in light of the potentially serious and life-threatening symptoms. If you think you may be allergic to latex, you should contact your doctor. They might perform a skin-prick test, take a blood sample for examination, or both. People with a latex allergy can still live perfectly normal lives but do need to take special care to avoid the material.
The facts about Elastoplast latex-free products
Sustainability is a topic of particular interest and concern to our consumers. As part of our efforts in this field, we strive to be transparent by offering comprehensive information about the safety of the ingredients we use and the environmental compatibility of our formulas and packaging. In addition to striving for transparency, we aim to inform, inspire and involve consumers in our sustainability actions and initiatives.
You may be surprised to learn that latex-free products are not always supplied in latex-free packaging. This means that, although the products themselves are safe, people with a latex allergy can still suffer an allergic reaction after handling the packaging. For example, the pouch and release liner of some “latex-free” plasters still contain latex. At Elastoplast, we are striving to make our products genuinely latex-free – by which we mean both our products and the packaging they come in.
Quite apart from allergy-related issues, removing latex from our products and packaging also has environmental benefits. Commercial cultivation of rubber trees is often environmentally unfriendly and involves the use of pesticides. A great deal of space is also required to accommodate the large trees.
From 2021, the majority of Elastoplast products and packaging will become latex-free. Our efforts are also continuing to reduce and remove the use of latex across our entire product range. By making these commitments and implementing these changes, Elastoplast is becoming a frontrunner in genuinely latex-free products.