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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Sarah Boatner: Chattanooga, TN


I used to be so spontaneous. I never worried about whether a place used latex or not. I got hives one year from a bandaid. 3 years later, I went into anaphylactic shock. I went to a doctors office, made it very clear how allergic I am, showed them my epipen and inhaler. I told them I can't be in the same room as powdered latex gloves. They said "Okay." and didn't do anything. They just left the powdered latex gloves in the room with me, I could smell the latex, and they shut the door. I never returned to that doctor. I later went into shock that day. My throat now gets tight when I'm in the same room as latex gloves, even when they're powder free. I've developed food allergies too. I'm now allergic to almonds, mangos, and bananas. I can walk into friends houses and tell there's latex in the air. The air gets heavy. Cigarette smoke doesnt help any of this. Due to my severe allergy, I now have asthma. I was going to scuba dive with sharks but can't because of my allergy. I still have hope that one day I can. Before any of this, anything I wanted to do was possible. I didn't do it because I was afraid I wasn't capible of doing it. Life isn't as care-free as I'd like it to be. Even healthcare workers see latex allergy as something that's not too big. For those who suffer from it, every day items can be fatal. Good news is, I'm basically a super hero, all of those suffering from latex are super heroes. We defy death every day we live.


James Spradlin: Fresno, Ca


I found I was Allergic to Latex after wearing a condom. Or rather, DURING the wearing of said Condom. Swelling and sever rash.


Sheri Finocchiaro: Bristow, Virginia


I was recently diagnosed with Type I latex allergy after 17 years as a physical therapist. As a health care professional I never received specific screening or education regarding latex allergy or latex food syndrome. I face the daily challenges of navigating life as a mother of a 6 year old and wife in a society full of latex. I currently live in an area that does not have a latex safe hospital and have faced much adversity in trying to obtain safe medical and dental care or even vetrinary care for our pets. Participating in my son's education/school is yet another daily challenge.


Tamara Winger: Phoenix, AZ


I had a reaction two serious reactions at work. Placed on FMLA with no pay and long story short after two months of no pay or development of policy the company stood up and are working to create a policy and sensitivity training. This has also brought awareness for other employees suffering from the same problem. Arizona is one of a few states the requires a latex free food environment, but I still find latex gloves for dish washing and some still use them especially at grocery stores. It needs to be addressed so others can be aware before they suffer the same fate.


Sandra Moren: San Diego, CA


My symptoms are brought on by rubber...rubber tires, rubber bark, anything rubber. The smell alone instantly causes my head to feel like it is going to explode and I become so nauseated that I worry about vomiting right then and there. Recently, our HOA has installed rubber bark into the tot lot directly in front of my front door and the smell has caused such adverse reactions that I suffered a full-blown asthma attack and am now on so much medication and must use rescue inhalers on a regular basis. This stuff is toxic and yet our HOA acts like I'm crazy. This stuff is toxic and raises my husband's pulse and heart rate every time he is exposed to it. We can't use our front door or sit out on our front patio anymore because the odor this rubber bark emits is so bad that it literally takes our breath away and we can't breathe but the HOA keeps telling me it is safe and that our concern is unfounded. We aren't making this stuff up. I know how it is affecting us and fear for the well-being of the children who play in it as well as the long term affects we are going to see in the future as a result to this kind of exposure to rubber bark made out of old, discarded shredded tires. Please, let me know if anyone out there is or has experienced this; we can't be the only ones. Thank you.


Tammy Abdo: Boonville, New York


I have been a nurse for 22 years and I developed this horrible allergy from being a nurse.It first started with the cracked red bleeding rash that covered my hands and arms and progressed to asthma and breathing problems, cross reactivity to bananas,avocados,chestnuts,tomatoes and so on. I am now anaphylactic and have to carry an epipen wherever I go. It is impossible to stay in a hotel or eat in a restaurant, grocery shopping or go to school functions without the possibility of exposure. I Love to be a nurse and have had to change my life and aspects of my career to fit my allergy. This allergy is a disability and we are all sick of it controlling us and not us it! My whole family has to be alert and now to make matters worse my 14 year old son was diagnosed Allergic to LATEX as well and I was told from allergist that I gave it to him when I was pregnant for him. It saddens me that we as a society can control peanut exposure and all other allergies but not this one? But we have the technology to,just not the backing from the government and medical agencies that are supposed to protect us.. I can't tell you how mant times I have been exposed in hospitals and had to be medically treated with inhalers,hospitalization,steroids and such from a "mistake" or "accidental exposure".Everywhere I can I educate someone in hope that it saves a life.So many children now have this allergy and just going to school puts them in danger! My last exposure was from balloons in the public school. Upon moving to NY I had to leave the allergist I trusted and obtain a new one and I couldn't believe how much he didn't know about the testing and how to treat this allergy. I fear for or children as well as us who are allergic to this "manmade" allergy and it feels like we are alone all the time. I am currently trying to find a new allergist and to get support staff I need but it is real tough where I live.PLEASE BAN ALL USE OF LATEX AND HELP US ALL BREATH WITHOUT BEING HOSPITALIZED!!


Susan Mollica: Medina, Ohio


Thank you for your website & stories! I continue to battle my allergy the best I know how & feel much more informed & ready to fight.


rae blount: FAYETTEVILLE, north carolina


I have not always been sesitive to latex when I first joined the military we all wore latex gloves and I was fine with it. Then within 2-3 yrs I started to have rash and swelling on my hands and my noise was always ruining it took about 4 years for me to be diagnosed with latex allergy. Now 10 yrs later I react to just about anything that contains latex and now I find that when when I come in contact with latex it cause my mouth and throat to swell. This first happened after a TB shot all the needle did was go through a latex stopper then be injected into my arm, the next major episode was from a hair rubber band. I have broke out from children shoes, rubber bands, I can not touch my tires on my bike or car, children toys just to name a few of the items I am no longer allowed to touch.


Georgetta Hare: Batavia, OH


The first time I experienced a severe reaction that I realized was due to latex exposure was several years ago when I ate at a Bob Evans resturant. Within the hour, I developed severe cramping, diarrhea and shortness of breath as well severe trembling. I called the resturant just to check to see if they had used latex gloves and they confirmed they did. The next day, I spoke with the manager as well as the corporate office and sent them information about the dangers of latex in food handling and they developed a non-latex policy. I continued to call all of the major resturants chains as well as groceries- some with success and some who out-right refused to change their policy. I also experienced another severe reaction, this one much worse when I ate a Scottish meat pie that was frozen and shipped and then cooked at 400 degress for 20 minutes, confirming my hunch that it did not cook out. They too were notified but did not change their policy until a few years later when several of their employees developed a latex allergy. I am suprised that this many years later this is still such a major health issue. It is well known and documented that latex can and does cause severe allergic reactions that can be life threatening. So why is it still allowed? I have written to both the Congress and Senate as well as the President and the FDA, but to no avail. I have called CNN, ABC, NBC AND CBS asking them to do a documentery on the risks, again with no response. We need to have a federal law that prohibits any contact with latex in food handling of any kind! It does not help when a resurant offers to not use latex gloves when preparing your meal. How can you safely eat knowing that part of your food may have been prepared earlier in the day with a person wearing latex gloves. It needs to be banned completly. There is a safe alternative- vinyl or just good old fashioned hand-washing!!


Lisa Gormon: Raleigh, NC


After teaching at a new school, new carpets, adhesives and backing, latex paints on walls I had to be hospitalized for ten days of migraines. I can't go into the gym with the kids or around the playground equipment. Schools use regular bandaids and rubberbands in the science and math kits. Even the emergency bags have latex bandaids, gloves and rubberbands. I used to twist balloons at the kid's fund-raisers. After having a c-section with the cord around his neck twice, they had to TURN him before delivering him. I guess THAT did it. Too much exposure to latex. I am only now learning about foods to avoid. I have suffered for 12 years and the allergy affects the urine/kidneys.


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