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Does Latex Paint Pose a Risk for People with Latex Allergy?

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Updated October 30, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Does Latex Paint Pose a Risk for People with Latex Allergy?
Answer: No. Latex paint does not contain natural latex protein, but contains synthetic materials including vinyl acetate and acrylates. Natural latex protein, derived from the Hevea brasiliensis tree, is responsible for allergic reactions caused by latex. There is no latex protein found in latex paint, and therefore people with latex allergy are at no increased risk of an allergic reaction with exposure to latex paint. For this reason, many companies have proposed changing the name from latex paint to acrylic paint.

Latex paint certainly poses other risks to people and the environment, although this is not as a result of a latex allergy. Latex paint contains various chemicals that can cause contact dermatitis, and can release potentially toxic fumes that can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting and respiratory problems. Inappropriate disposal of latex paint can also harm the environment by posing a risk to fish and wildlife. For these reasons, latex paint should be used with proper precautions, such as painting in a well-ventilated area, using a mask and goggles, and disposing of leftover paint in an approved manner.

Learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of latex allergy.

Sources:

American Latex Allergy Association. Website accessed October 30, 2011.

Latex Paint--Hazards and Solutions for Disposal. State of California Website. Accessed July 24, 2011.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

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