Writing about food allergies from a pediatric allergist's perspective

The American Latex Allergy Association and Latex Allergy

AllergyHome is honored to introduce the American Latex Allergy Association. The American Latex Allergy Association’s work in advocacy and education has greatly benefited the lives of those with with latex allergy.  Thank you, ALAA for joining us.

What is Latex Allergy?

Natural Rubber LatexNatural Rubber Latex Allergy is a complex and potentially life threatening allergy that is caused by sensitization to proteins in the sap-like fluid (latex) from the commercial rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis.

Studies have shown that latex allergy occurs in 1%  to about 8% of the general population in the US  with an increased prevalence in people with other allergies.

Latex GloveLatex allergy is most common in high risk groups. It affects 8-17% of health care workers and up to 68% of children with spina bifida (related to frequent surgeries).  Anyone who has multiple surgeries is at increased risk.

Latex Allergy symptoms can include:

  • Hives or welts
  • Swelling of affected area
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Headache
  • Reddened, itchy or teary eyes
  • Sore throat, hoarse voice
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath (asthma)

If exposure to latex continues, allergy symptoms may include a severe and life threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Who is the American Latex Allergy Association (ALAA)? 

ALAA logoWe are a national non-profit organization and one of the Lay Organizations of the AAAAI and ACAAI.  Originally, our organization was formed back in 1993 by a group of approximately 30 health care workers who acquired the latex allergy. We sought to provide information and support for one another, as well as all those interested in latex allergy.  Our original name A.L.E.R.T., Inc. continues to reflect our mission: Allergy to Latex Education and Resource Team.


Our Mission

Our mission is to create awareness of latex allergy through education and to provide support to allergists and their patients who have developed latex allergy. 

What do we do?  We exist to help individuals and their families learn to Live with their Latex Allergy.

Patients, families, and healthcare providers can:

  • Get advice and additional resources by calling our toll free number 1-800-97-ALERT
  • Check out latexallergyresources.org. Our educational website offers a wealth of resources and tools for both the allergist and their patients.
  • Find allergists that have registered their offices with the ALAA using our Locate a Latex Allergy Allergist Map.
  • Like us Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest news.
  • Refer to publications that include an 84 page manual on the Guidelines for the Emergency Care of the Latex Allergic Patient  and a 91 page manual on the School Safety Guidelines for Latex Allergic Students
  • Latex Allergy 101Learn from and teach with educational posters and fact sheets. Latex 101: Latex allergy = Allergy, Anaphylaxis, Asthma and Cross Reactive Food Allergy is a program that includes a poster and fact sheets to assist in latex allergy education.
  • Refer to our Latex Allergy Checklist, Latex Allergy Action Plan, and Travel Plan- Booking and Boarding an Airplane Checklist.
  • Join us for the Annual Latex Allergy Awareness Week which is the first full week of October. Each year we have a theme, posters, fact sheets and educational resource packets that we distribute.

2013 Was a Great Year for Latex Allergy Awareness!

  • Boy and Balloons

    Photo courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives

    In 2013 published Living with Latex Allergy Booklet a 20 page booklet written for the patients by our Co Founders Marsha Smith and Sue Lockwood and reviewed and edited by our Advisory Board Members.

  • In 2013 we celebrated our 20th Anniversary collaborating with AANMA, and the Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis Team, to do 3  Latex Allergy Webinars,  Latex Allergy and Asthma, Latex Allergy and Anaphylaxis and Latex Allergy and Cross Reactive Foods
  • Educated and exhibited at many medical conferences including the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), National School Nurses Association, the Spina Bifida Association, and the ACEs Program bringing about awareness of Latex Allergy, Anaphylaxis, Asthma and Cross Reactivity to Foods.


What’s in store for the American Latex Allergy Association for 2014?

In 2014 in addition to our ongoing programs we will be hosting our 4th webinar: Latex Allergy with Dr Kevin Kelly.

Our focus for 2014 and 2015 will be the development of resources & educational tools; posters and fact sheets, for latex allergy awareness in restaurants, grocery stores & food service.  Our goal is education and awareness of the dangers of latex proteins and powder from gloves used in food handling. Guidelines are needed to provide a latex safe environment for the latex allergic patron. Latex allergic persons need to have a Latex Safe place to eat and shop.

Join us to become a community working together to help educate and create awareness of Latex Allergy.

We encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, use our website or toll free number for answers to your questions and importantly join our membership, Visit our website where you can join online, or make a tax deductible donation.

The American Latex Allergy Association would like to thank Allergy Home for the opportunity to educate and create awareness of latex allergy; working collaboratively to broaden this reach.

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