Melanie explains her research in to cloths that might contain latex:
In regard to Hannah’s question about clothing containing latex- yes some clothing does contain natural latex.
If you look at for example socks at Kohl’s it will even list a small percentage natural rubber or latex. Elastic is natural latex usually, but is never listed on the material content. Concerning Spandex companies that make clothes can introduce natural latex into that spandex during the processing so you have to be cautious. I have contacted many clothing companies and found that they will not list “latex free” because they protect themselves from liability in the event natural latex has been added. Those companies may be located here in the Unites Sates, but their products are made out side of the US.
To give you an example I recently wrote a letter to the NIKE CEO asking why they do not commit themselves into saying latex free running shoes as a lot of sneaker soles are no longer made of natural latex or the adhesive glue is latex free? I never got a response although I sent the letter registered and I know he received it.
With that said I steer away from Spandex due to not knowing totally the whole makeup of what it contains. It is extremely frustrating for us who have the allergy to not know what products contain so we can protect ourselves. Even the FDA says lean on the cautious side when a product says latex free because it may not be.
Where does that leave us who have latex allergies or any allergy for that matter? It is dangerous and in this great time of great technology you would think somehow these companies would be so more advanced. I recall talking to Victoria Secret and asking them about their clothes. Not one of them even knew where their products were produced and didn’t even know what the elastic was made of. I asked how you can sell a product and not know what you are selling! It is very scary for us who have allergies!
Elastics in clothing may not be a problem for some people, depending on how the clothing is made, how sensitive you are, and how old the elastic is. Often, elastics are threaded through a tunnel of folded over cloth. A new elastic may not release enough latex through the clothing to effect people who aren’t very sensitive. However as the clothing ages and the elastic breaks down, this could become a problem even for less sensitive people.
What is your experience with latex allergy and clothing? Please leave a comment.
See also: Products Containing Latex article.