I just started a new job at a party supply store and have noticed that my skin itches and my eyes water every time I come into contact with balloons. A coworker said she has a “balloon irritation”, but I’m sure there has to be something more scientific that can explain my allergic reactions. Can you provide some insight?
It could be that you may have an allergy to natural rubber latex. Latex allergies are often identified once someone has an allergic reaction by coming into contact with a product that contains latex such as balloons. Contact with these products can trigger symptoms such as shortness of breath, sneezing, and itchy skin to name a few.
Natural Rubber Latex (NRL) contains over 200 proteins, 13 of which are suspected allergens. If you have a high sensitivity level to these allergens you can experience some allergic reactions. These proteins can be removed to create a durable, elastic latex that is acceptable by industry standards. Look for natural rubber latex products carrying the “Vytex® NRL” logo for a better latex with greatly reduced protein levels.
If you believe you suffer from a balloon irritation, contact your physician or healthcare provider about your concerns and consider being tested for latex allergy. For more information on allergies, visit the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology website. For further information on Vytex NRL or to find products made with Vytex NRL, sign up for our newsletter or contact us. We also recommend looking for the “Vytex® NRL” logo for a better latex with significantly reduced antigenic protein levels.