Gloves Made From New Form of Latex Approved

May benefit health workers, patients allergic to traditional latex

WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2008 (HealthDay News) -- A medical glove made from a new type of latex that appears less likely to cause allergic reactions than traditional latex has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Traditional latex gloves are made from the sap of a rubber tree. The sap contains a protein that may trigger allergic reactions, especially among people who use the gloves repeatedly over long periods. Mild reactions may include rash, hives, skin redness and itchiness, while more serious problems could include difficulty breathing and wheezing, the FDA said.

The agency cited estimates that 3 percent to 22 percent of health-care workers are "sensitized" and may react to traditional latex.

The newly approved Yulex gloves are made of latex from a guayule bush, native to the Southwestern United States. Studies indicate that even people who are highly allergic to traditional latex do not react on first exposure to the Yulex gloves, the FDA said.

The product is made by the Yulex Corp., of Maricopa, Ariz.

More information

The National Library of Medicine's Medline Plus product has more about latex allergy.

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