Latex Gloves FAQs

Latex Gloves - what are they made of?
Latex is produced naturally from rubber trees via a process called "Tapping". The latex is actually produced from cutting groves into the tree and the raw liquid runs out and is collected daily from the plantation trees. Therefore, it is a biodegradable material. Its elasticity still makes the material ideal for glove manufacture and despite allergic reactions is still a leading disposable glove type used today.

Can you be allergic to the Latex Gloves?
In short yes. Latex is an allergen and contains proteins which can cause reactions such as contact dermatitis. Over the years these allergens have been reduced due to the introduction of new manufacturing procedures and are causing less irritation than they used to.

What are the symptoms of a reaction to Latex gloves?
Typically the hands will become irritated, resulting on a red and itchy rash - usually contact dermatitis. If you develop any type of reaction using latex gloves discard and look for an alternative.

Latex gloves - what are they used for?
Latex gloves are used for a large number of different reasons. Depending on certification of manufacture, usually confirmed in the gloves product description and manufacturing specifications, they can be used for the following.

  • Food preparation
  • Hairdressing
  • Tattooing and Piercing
  • Protection against soiling and low hazard non organic chemicals.
  • If the latex gloves have EN455 certification - and are therefore registered as a Class 1 Medical Device - they can be used patient care. It's important to note that the gloves need to be changed following each procedure and each patient to prevent cross contamination.
  • DIY jobs such as painting and decorating.
  • Car and vehicle maintenance

Latex Gloves - powder free or powdered?
Latex gloves can either be non powdered or powdered. Many years ago most gloves were powdered and this helps the user to don the glove more easily and to help reduce sweating. However, the powdered glove isn't as popular as it used to be especially for food preparation and patient care, as the powder can fall into a food substance or onto a patient that may have a reaction.

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