Latex Allergy | Causes & Risk Factors


Who is at risk for latex allergy?

Latex products are everywhere. Anyone can develop a latex allergy. Health care workers and rubber industry workers seem to have the highest risk for latex allergy. Health care workers who have hay fever have an especially high chance of developing a latex allergy, as 25% of all health care workers who have hay fever show signs of being sensitive to latex.

People also at risk are those who have had many operations (especially in childhood), people who have spina bifida (a birth defect that affects the development of the spine) and people who have a food allergy.

Is there a connection between latex allergy and foods?

Because some rubber proteins are similar to food proteins, some foods may also cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to latex. The most common of these foods are banana, avocado, chestnut, kiwi fruit and passion fruit. Although many other foods can cause an allergic reaction, avoiding all of them might cause nutrition problems. Therefore, it's recommended that you avoid only the foods that have already given you an allergic reaction.


Latex Allergy by S Reddy, M.D. (American Family Physician August 01, 2001,


Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 09/00