Latex Beds and Latex Allergies: Answers & Information
One question that many people have when investigating latex mattresses is: will sleeping on latex produce an allergy? An allergy to latex is not very common, only affecting around one percent of the population, but it can still be a concern for many people when considering different types of mattresses. There are so many benefits of natural latex mattresses though, and this issue affects so few people that unless one already has a serious allergy, it’s not something one should worry about.
Now if one has a serious latex allergy then of course they should avoid latex in all areas of their lives. This could be a problem with latex gloves and balloons, for example. But since 99 percent of people do not have this allergy it isn’t likely to cause an issue. Of those who do have an allergy a skin rash is the most common reaction but anaphylaxis is also possible for some.
A concern though for those who do not have a latex allergy is the increased likelihood of acquiring one from exposure to latex over time. Latex comes from the rubber tree and proteins from rubber are what causes the reaction. Those who are exposed to these proteins over time can actually develop a reaction to them and end up with a latex allergy. One example of this occurring is that around 10 percent of hospital staff who regularly put on latex gloves develop a latex allergy. It’s thought that rather than the contact with the skin, it’s the dust from the gloves being breathed in that is the cause.
Similarly, industrial rubber workers also saw around 10 percent chance of developing an allergy to latex. These workers had daily exposure to latex and its dust all day for many years. And this is what should be considered. A latex mattress is not in a state where it’s giving off constant dust. It’s also not direct contact with the skin like with other latex products that people use every day. A latex mattress is inside layers of fabric and wool, then covered with a mattress pad and then sheets.
Even for those with a minor skin reaction to latex (part of that one percent of the population), they should be completely fine sleeping on the mattress. Everyone else should be even more safe because it isn’t an industrial setting where the unsettled product and dust are being kicked up. The finished product, once assembled and inside the casing will be very unlikely to raise one’s chances of developing a latex allergy. Handling balloons at a child’s birthday party is a much greater exposure and it’s still not likely to lead to an allergy. So for the vast, vast majority, this really isn’t an issue to dissuade one from getting a mattress with so many other great benefits to their health and the environment.
Our convenient Durham, North Carolina location carries organic mattresses and we would be thrilled to have a conversation with you about what mattress is right for you.