Allergy to latex

Other Names:
Allergic reaction to rubber

Allergy to latex is fairly common, and is a problem for medical patients and their care-givers, who often must wear latex gloves. Some people are extremely sensitive to the latex itself or to chemicals or corn starch in the gloves, suffering Type I and Type IV allergic reactions, ranging from skin rash to coma and death.

The reaction to latex exposure worsens if the sufferer eats a banana, papaya, avocado, nuts or other fruit that contains protein similar to latex protein, which is the trigger for the allergic reaction.

There is no way of desensitizing a person allergic to latex.


Since 1980, the incidence of latex allergies has grown to 8%, up from 1% of the general population, while 40% of dental workers are now allergic to latex. Spina bifida patients, with an incidence of 72%, are particularly sensitive to latex. In 1991, 16 spina bifida patients died during surgery due to exposure to latex.

Broader Problems:
Allergy inducing food
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
Problem Type:
G: Very specific problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST