“Consumers rely on and expect accurate labeling and product information, especially when they are concerned about allergic reactions,” said Dr. William Maisel, the deputy director for science in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health. The FDA suggests the labels should state that the products are “not made with natural rubber latex,” because they still may come into contact with the substance during processing or packing.
Natural rubber latex causes an allergic reaction for some, who can experience mild rashes, hives or more severe respiratory problems, depending on their level of sensitivity.
But there are two types of latex, the FDA points out: Natural and synthetic.
Regulators say that the “latex free” label is confusing because synthetic latex does not contain the proteins that can cause the latex allergy symptoms.
Those most vulnerable to the allergy include those who wear latex gloves often – healthcare workers, hairdressers and food service workers.