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Old 05-07-2000, 12:01 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 117
Hey guys -- if your thinking of using LATEX gloves, be careful!
I didn't see anyone else warning you, so I felt I should do it. Some significant percentage of the human population (not sure if it's 3% or 5%) can develop an allergy to latex! It can be as mild as a reddening of the skin, or a maybe even a rash. On the other hand, such allergies can develop more serious reactions with continued exposure -- including "systemic" reactions -- including closure of the airways (ever hear of anaphylactic shock?).
I'd advise all to select some other material for their gloves, or at least be aware of and watch for signs of allergic reaction.
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Old 05-07-2000, 04:05 AM
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JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189
Thanks for pointing this out to the forum! There is an excellent review on latex glove hazards at the following URL:
They state that allergy to the proteins and powders in latex gloves is "believed to affect less than 1% of the population". This is much less than the percentage of people affected by the chemicals the gloves are designed to protect against. Much of the allergy potential is believed to come from cheaper, poorly manufactured (not properly washed out during manufactur) gloves, and can also result in respiratory problems.

As in the case of the Sodium Azide in airbags, the nickel coin, the formaldehyde in new carpet or particle board speaker enclosures, the nylon in many brushes, etc. etc., some (usually small) percentage of the population will be allergic or will develop allergic response over time. The trick is to look at the risk vs. benefit and make an informed decision, and then realize that sometimes your best decision at the time may turn out to be wrong in retrospect. For me, the highest risk is to NOT use the gloves, but this is a personal decision. Thanks again for bringing this up!

87 300E, 62k miles
Smoke Silver

[This message has been edited by JCE (edited 05-07-2000).]
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Old 05-09-2000, 02:00 AM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Los Angeles, Calif, USA
Posts: 521
The same is true for using latex condoms.

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Old 05-09-2000, 05:02 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,416
If anyone suspects that they're allergic to latex, nitrile gloves are a good substitute. At least in the places I've worked in, nitrile is usually offered alongside latex (or in place of entirely), and I believe it offers a fair amount of protection against organic solvents. (you should, however, check the chemical compatibility of nitrile against whatever you're working with; as with latex, there are a lot of things that nitrile will not protect against.)

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