Six Ordinary Household Items that May Contain Latex

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Although living with latex allergies is far from impossible, it does entail a little more mindfulness. Those of us who are allergic to latex often need to make sure that the things we touch don't contain the substance; otherwise, there's a chance we break out in itchy, uncomfortable rashes.

Clothing continues to be the most common culprit for these reactions, which is why 100% organic cotton clothing is still one of the best options for dealing with latex allergies. However, it does also pay to be aware of what other common items might cause a reaction. Here are a few of the more often-encountered products that might contain latex:

 

1. Balloons

Almost all of the balloons you'll encounter have latex in them, as the substance is both stretchy and lightweight enough to make ideal floating balloons. You're generally safe from any allergic reactions when dealing with them, however, as you're usually holding onto their sticks and strings rather than the balloon itself. Just don't go around inflating them through your lips!

Kidding aside, there are latex-free balloons in the market. These tend to be significantly more expensive, however, and less flexible in terms of design. If you know a kid who has latex allergies and absolutely loves balloons, these are a fantastic option.

 

2. Band-Aids

These adhesive bandages work so well on skin mostly because they're elastic. Unfortunately, this also means that they probably contain latex, and may cause your skin more harm than they're worth. Again, look for elastic-free options if you have a wound that needs covering up. Your safest bet, though, is to use cotton bandages secured with non-elastic tape instead. Just take note that some adhesives might themselves contain latex, so be careful!

 

3. Pacifiers

You can never be too careful with babies! Rubber pacifiers tend to contain latex, as well as the potentially harmful BPA. If you'd rather keep your little bundle of joy from sucking her thumb, some moms recommend using your own pinky finger when your darling needs it the most. Otherwise, there are plastic pacifiers, but these generally aren't recommended because the firmness might affect tooth growth.

 

4. Racket Handles

If you're an avid tennis or badminton player, you'll know how troubling the rubberized racket handles can sometimes be. Players with latex allergies often use gloves to protect their skin, as wrapping the handles in cloth usually makes your grip weaker. Kind in mind that gloves, headbands, and other accessories might also contain latex, so read the labels before you try them on.

 

5. Tires

The next time you need to change a flat and you've got latex allergies, consider wearing gloves. Car and bicycle tires more often than not contain latex, but you normally don't want to compromise their durability by using an alternative material. Tires are simply one of those grin-and-bear-it items; you probably won't have much of an alternative to them, so the best thing you can do is work around them.

 

6. Dishwashing Gloves

When you want to keep your hands nice and dry while doing the dishes, don't settle for the usual fare. Instead, look for latex-free dishwashing gloves, or gloves with cloth inner linings, at the very least. You can also try using disposable plastic gloves; although they don't offer the same protection as the hardier rubber gloves, your skin will at least be free from latex.

 

Image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Balloons_(7889858270).jpg

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