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Latex or 'dry natural rubber' allergen risk

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:12 PM

Hi all

A query on the definition of latex and the allergen risk associated with it.


A customer asked if the rubber dropper bulb we use as a packaging component was latex free or not. We've been using the same component from the same supplier for the same customer for many years, so I thought the answer was fairly simple - the rubber used in the bulb is from a natural source (described as 'caoutchouc' in the supplier specification) so cannot be described as latex-free?


However, as the on-file specification is a few years old I referred it to Purchasing to ask the supplier for the most up-to-date info. The supplier stated (to my surprise) that it was not made from latex, but rather 'dry natural rubber', the processing of these two materials being different.


My question is, while I accept that the materials might be different, if we are talking about allergens and label claims (a) is there a real difference between these two materials, and (b) is dry natural rubber considered 'latex-free'?


Our customer is based in the EU, but has a significant export presence.





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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:10 AM

Interesting article on the difference between Latex and Rubber (which are the same, with a major difference)


Article helped me to understand why people can be allergic to Latex but not to gloves (e.g., Nitril type).

Kind regards,
Glenn Oster

Goodstart Coastal Enterprises | SQF Consultants | Lighthouse Health & Wellness, PMA

508-687-2224 // gcemvi@proton.me


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L. Mathies

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 10:33 PM

Some issues with the latex glove reactions have been due to the latex material not curing completely betewwn the time that they were manufactured and were used. 


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Posted 21 November 2014 - 07:17 AM

Recently my auditor (ISO22000) commented latex type hand gloves not allowed to be use anymore at production area because of allergen issue. I was wondering whether allergic occurred on food handler or product?? Can anybody make elaboration on this issue?  

Mike Green

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 10:25 AM

I can't comment on ISO 22000 in relation to latex gloves


But 'foodborne' latex allergies have been discussed over the years...... and the outcomes are pretty inconclusive





Latex Protein Allergy and Food Ingestion

The Conference for Food Protection (CFP). In 1971, the FDA and the American Public Health Association sponsored the first Conference for Food Protection in Denver, CO. Since then, the CFP has been bringing together representatives from the food industry, government, academia, and consumer organizations to identify and address emerging problems of food safety and to formulate recommendations. Though the Conference has no formal regulatory authority, it is a powerful organization that profoundly influences model laws and regulations among all government agencies. 
In April 2002, the FDA reported to the CFP that although 75 self-reported cases of food-mediated latex allergies were received from consumers in late 2000 and early 2001, these cases, "are not clinically verified through medical records and it is possible that some of the reactions described could have been due to consumption of foods that cross react to latex protein (e.g. kiwi, bananas, buckwheat, stone fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet pepper, chestnuts, spinach, etc.). "
In April 2004, the CFP re-examined the issue of latex allergy associated with glove use and subsequently concluded again that there was much uncertainty about food-borne allergens being transmitted from latex gloves and their effects on consumers. It said there was a need for more studies on this matter.

 the confusion (in the main) coming from the fact that because of the similarity of latex protein to that of tomatoes/kiwi etc- it was not possible to attribute (the small number of) reported reactions to latex


IMO... if I was avoiding latex gloves it would be because of potential allergic reactions in the wearer raher than any potential crosss contamination of the food!



I may sound like a complete idiot...but actually there are a couple of bits missing

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