Latex Allergy Stories

Tell Your Latex Allergy Story

The best way for the world to understand the severity of a Latex allergy is for everyone to hear what those suffering from the allergy go through. Read the stories below written by people who suffer from allergic reactions to Latex and comments by those who advocate change.


Currently, 177 people have submitted stories or comments.


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Barbara Jones: Detroit, Michigan


I am frightened by the way that my allergic reaction to latex exposure has increased over time. For example, I did not know that electrical cords contained latex until I was putting up my family's Christmas tree and almost went in to anaphylactic shock! I couldn't understand it b/c we've put up a tree every year since I could remember and I've never had this type of reaction. This year my allergy went in to overdrive following my exposure to the rubber on my husband's crutches. Ever since then I can't seem to come into contact with anything latex-related. I'm really freaked out and don't know what to do at this point.


Leah Smith: Warren, MI

My 3 year old son is having a latex sensitivity in which even a trip to the playground is often ended early due to an allergic reaction. ( I assume from using his hands as he climbs the equipment, in which rubber soled shoes had walked all over.) There is nothing more heartbreaking then not being able to get my son's professional pictures done, ever, because the poor baby fights awful itchy rashes on his face anytime he comes in contact with anything latex or chemically treated. His diagnosis started as cradle cap when he was 4 months old. He, too, started his life surrounded by latex as a c-section baby. Just after getting his first set of shots ( in which 3 others, gloved, touched him) the rashes began. Please, help make my child's world one in which he can live in and not need to be held in a bubble.


Patricia Trelinski: Los Angeles, CA


It took going through gall bladder surgery for someone to give me a diagnosis of latex allergy. As I came out of anesthesia, nurses were hovering around me exclaiming what a bad allergy I had to latex. (Obviously, this place that performed the surgery was not latex-free.) I always had problems with band-aids and reading newspapers. I could not believe how bad I felt from reading newspapers. Thank God for the internet. That is where I found out that there is latex in newspaper ink. Almost no one knows that fact. Recently, in Los Angeles, I have been having a lot of dental work done. I started realizing that I was getting sick every time I went to the dentist. We have narrowed it down to the latex used in the office. I get horrible sinus problems, dizziness, bad sore throats, and have felt that I was close to not breathing. One exposure left me feeling all of the above symptoms plus disoriented and not able to think. Not enough is being done to insure that patients are safe from latex. Medical facilities are sadly lacking on this issue. I am scared that the one place (hospitals, medical offices, dental) that should be the safest for me, may one day kill me! We need to pay attention to this matter in restaurants, also. I am happy to see a list of restaurants that do not use latex. However, because latex is not regulated, one never knows when and where it will be encountered. Even those places that say that they are latex-free may not be aware that a piece of equipment, utensils fabric, paint, i.e. may contain latex. We need heavy regulation by the government and the states to make sure people are safe.


Nancy Doris: Cleveland, Ohio


It has been 15 years since my first life threatening exposure to latex. I was teaching a class at the Red Cross, put on my latex gloves for training purposes and immediately began to go into shock. I took a Benedryl and the Red Cross sent for paramedics. Since that time my life has been changed -- crippled by this allergy. I am in fear for every balloon I see in a store, in a grocery store. Things have changed somewhat since I first became allergic. I go to a hospital now that is completely latex free. I still have fears about medicine applicators, etc. My husband and I have great difficulty going out with other couples because of the restaurant issue. I finally found a sushi restaurant that uses vinyl gloves only. I sit at the sushi bar so I can watch them prepare my food. I am so happy to go out! Being able to travel is a nightmare. I pack my food on the plane. We go to condos where I can purchase food in a grocery store and prepare it. I dream of being free -- to be like other people..to enjoy a simple meal in a restaurant..to not be terrified of a medical procedure...I am happy I found this site. Thank you.


Lee Renzi: Reading, PA

My daughter has a latex allergy. I would like to see latex banned from the food industries, stores, medical industries, and airborne etc...Please help I want to see my daughter live a long and prductive life.


Cindy Adymy: Bartlett, TN


In the early -mid 1980's I was working in the OR. I moved to another city, and the hospital I worked in used a different brand of sterile gloves. After being scrubbed in all day, my hands were on fire -red with bumps all over. I began wearing final gloves underneath the latex gloves. To make a long story short, while in grad school I did alot of research on latex allergies, and did my masters project on latex allergies in the OR. In the 1980's with universal precautions, glove manufactures decreased the time they kept the rubber in the vat - curing the latex. The longer it "cooked" the more latex proteins were removed; shorter -more latex proteins in the product. The brand my hospital used had alot of proteins, which prompted my dermatitis. In the late 1990's, I developed asthma and tested positive to Latex. I have been very lucky in that all my physicans and DDS have vinyl gloves and are very accomodating. I have worked/ taught in Pediatric hospitals that are latex free, and the adult hospitals have latex free gloves readily available and latex free carts. I did have a biopsy in 1997, and was the 1st case b/c of latex allergy. The scrub tech had on latex gloves and when I reminded my nurse -no latex, the tech did stomp and walk out of the room (I reported the incident). Honestly, I did not pay attention to food prep, and maybe my stomach ailments after dining out are related to the latex. I do react to balloons and bananas. I was very concerned at the airport with TSA and spoke with them regarding their gloves, which are latex free. Latex is an issue and restraunts using latex gloves should be required by law to disclose this fact. And no one should be discriminated against for their latex allergy.


Lisa Reber: Mohnton, PA


I have been working in the health care field since 1986. I am 42 years old. I have had latex allergies since working and they have provided me with latex free gloves. I am currently working at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center for over 10 1/2 years. They know I have a latex allergy. I carry an epi-pen with me and allergia at all times. I had a severe reaction in my husbands Aunt's pool 4 yrs ago. I had large half dollar sized hives covering my entire body. I wear latex free underware and bathing suit. My sensitivity has become worse. I was able to wear pants with elastic but the redness and swelling has become worse so now I have to wear all latex free clothes. My chest feels heavy in work so I am going to speak to Dr. about allergy med for breathing.


Rebecca Radke: Spring, TX


I developed my latex allergy through over exposure while being treated for another medical condition. Every reaction I have is worse than the one before. My most recent attack STARTED 3 days ago and I still get dizzy and have trouble breathing. It was brought on my going into my dorm room after my roommate blew up balloons in the room. The balloons were not IN the room when I had my reaction. I can't even touch the conveyor belt at the checkout counter or set my things on it without wondering if the latex particles will transfer and cause a reaction. I'm in college and should be able to focus on my studies, not have to spend time trying to get my University to accommodate my allergy.


Audrey Kirby: climax, MI


I was a day late and a dollar short as i was repeatedly exposed to latex in the dental office before most offices around here have banned it (thank God not only for me....but for all workers and patients). I feel nauseated being in the dollar store if kids start playing with those spikey stretchy balls, and around balloons. i feel like a scrooge being a mom and being allergic to balloons....but my kids are so understanding. It still makes me sad. i am thankful for mylar balloons. i know my allergy is serious, as it can appear mild, and grow to serious and anaphylactic shock in one exposure. i know this from being a health care professional and reading my journals....i read an excellent article on peanut allergies. i'm glad i found this site because i put "two and two" together today. last night after i ate out i was commenting on how weird it was how sick, nauseated, and crampy i felt. it was strange because i chose such healthy food. well, i read the stories on here, and called the restaurant. sure enough, they use latex. i had NO IDEA the danger i was in... I am a health conscious mom of two girls...that i not only want to be around for years from now, but i want to be healthy and i make a lot of choices to make sure that happens. Then to find out people are endangering me, a mother of two young girls, and many other valuable lives just because it's a cheaper alternative? what? this has got to be a joke. I thought i was lucky that it's not a peanut allergy, but i was ignorant at HOW much this problem crosses over into both allergies. this is about convienience in packaging, producing, and being cheap. it reminds me of the transfat dilema that we just went through in this country that millions of people still suffer from...and that we are all paying for financially. HORRIBLE. thank you for this petition. This will save lives if it works.


eileen trenullo: lincoln, ca


I was diagnosed at age 12 after wearing keds sneakers all day to school.Rashes itching and blisters sent me to local doctor and then to a specialist to diagnose latex/rubber allergy.Shoes ,sunscreens,ascorbic acid ,skin products containing fruit additives,elastics,fruits that are acidic,are all problems.Dental and medical appointments are scary,they don"t read my chart.Many items could be labeled,like shoes? Until then I was thinking maybe a tattoo on my forhead??? Thank you for this site,it helps.


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