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Latex Allergies

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19 Nov 2013 12:28 #21 by Ty
Replied by Ty on topic Latex Allergies
Hi buttercupbetty

My reason for suggesting the impermeable plastic was that it would more definitively determine whether the problem was the mattress or something else like bedding. Since you already own the mattress permeable encasement, it does seem worth trying. If it solves the problem you may not know the exact reasons but the problem is solved.

If it does not solve the problem, I am not actually sure you know whether the problem is particulate matter or VOCs. The website you indicated does not specifically state that it blocks all particles or blocks all particles down to some micron size. Rather it uses vague meaningless statements like “specifically designed for full bed bug, fluid and dust mite protection. Their mattress encasements might be great but I simply don’t know enough about their construction.

You are right that I was not suggesting using an impermeable plastic encasement over the long term (simply for testing). However, if you have a latex or latex chemical allergy, whether you could use it over the long term seems like more of a personal preference issue. You would have moisture, encasement tearing, and possibly noise issues. However, only you can determine if those are undesirable enough to get a different mattress.

If you doctor determines you have a latex or a chemical allergy, a breathable encasement still might work. It might be able to block the latex particles. Also if you are allergic to chemicals they might be bound in the latex and incapable of off gassing. If this was the case, blocking particles could be effective against chemicals as well. Be sure to talk to your doctor about this. I am concerned that a breathable encasement could reduce latex particles to the point that it does not produce a reaction. However the very low level exposure might increase your sensitization over time. On the other hand I have heard of doctors treating peanut allergies with very low level exposure. This is definitely a question for a doctor.

If it is chemical rather than latex that are the problem you might be OK with a different latex mattress. Manufacturers seem to use proprietary methods to make their mattresses so a different manufacturer or a different type (talalay vs. dunlop, blended vs. all natural) might not have the same chemicals in it. Unfortunately I do not know how you would determine this without buying the mattress. Maybe some companies would send you a small piece to test your allergy on.

If it is a latex allergy then a completely synthetic latex mattress is an option. Although I have heard they are of inferior quality.

Ty

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19 Nov 2013 15:10 #22 by buttercupbetty
Replied by buttercupbetty on topic Latex Allergies
@Ty:

If we determine that I have a "true" latex allergy, we will be getting rid of the mattress. And we will replace it with one that is 100% latex-free.

I had numerous samples sent. I never noticed ANY reaction to 100% natural dunlop. I slept with it and I even sniffed samples while in an enclosed bag. The natural Talalay did bother me, however. So we elected to avoid it completely. I really thought I had done enough homework, but now I'm having my doubts.

My husband's suggestion is that I stay out of our bedroom for three days. Pack up my stuff and sleep elsewhere. Then, if I get better I'll go back into our bedroom. If I don't get better, we'll suspect something else (food, dust, humidity). If I get better and the symptoms return after I go back into our bedroom, we will get rid of the bed. It's simply not worth the health risk.

Do you think three days is enough?

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19 Nov 2013 15:27 #23 by Ty
Replied by Ty on topic Latex Allergies
I think (but can’t say for sure) that 3 days would be enough. Note that this would not prove the mattress is the culprit, simply something in your bedroom. If the mattress is the only addition to your bedroom since the symptoms began then it is probably the mattress.

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19 Nov 2013 16:13 #24 by buttercupbetty
Replied by buttercupbetty on topic Latex Allergies
I also added a wool mattress pad. Maybe I'll take it out and sleep with it APART from my latex.

The nurse called in an Rx steroid nasal spray and dr will probably order lab test tonight.

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19 Nov 2013 18:28 - 19 Nov 2013 18:33 #25 by Phoenix
Replied by Phoenix on topic Latex Allergies
Hi buttercupbetty,

I had numerous samples sent. I never noticed ANY reaction to 100% natural dunlop. I slept with it and I even sniffed samples while in an enclosed bag. The natural Talalay did bother me, however. So we elected to avoid it completely. I really thought I had done enough homework, but now I'm having my doubts.


I think that this points to the strong likelihood that you aren't dealing with a type I allergy (or you would have reacted to anything that had natural latex in it).

Phoenix

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Last edit: 19 Nov 2013 18:33 by Phoenix.

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20 Nov 2013 11:00 #26 by Ty
Replied by Ty on topic Latex Allergies
Sleeping with your wool mattress pad apart from the latex mattress is a good idea. I would recommend washing it thoroughly to try and get rid of latex particles that might be in it. Be sure not to use your steroid nasal spray while conducting your test. I, and I imagine others on the forum, would be curious to know the results of both the sleeping in another room test and the results of the lab test order by your doctor.

Ty

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20 Nov 2013 11:27 #27 by buttercupbetty
Replied by buttercupbetty on topic Latex Allergies
Hi Ty,

The wool mattress topper from St Peter's isn't washable. At least not without compromising it's loft. I am hanging it outside in the sun right now. Since I'm pretty sure that it's not the offending item, I am willing to risk sleeping with it tonight.

My doctor just ordered the labs. I am waiting for him to respond to my question about skin testing. I believe that this is only done by a specialist? Besides, how would they know what chemicals to test me for? (As in Latex Green's recipe.)

Hey, do you think I could contact Latex Green???

I think Phoenix made a compelling point that it is unlikely to be a true Type I allergy, since the dunlop samples didn't evoke a noticeable response. We'll see what the labs say. Apparently they aren't very sensitive or specific, so may get a false positive or a false negative.

I will keep you posted!

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20 Nov 2013 11:38 #28 by buttercupbetty
Replied by buttercupbetty on topic Latex Allergies
Update: here's my doctor's response to my request for a skin test:

Let's see what the latex blood test shows first. If we are worried about other additives or allergens, skin testing is a possibility but we would send you to the allergist to discuss. Latex should off-gas less than other mattresses (at least that is my impression) because it is a more natural substance.

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20 Nov 2013 11:54 #29 by Ty
Replied by Ty on topic Latex Allergies
Hi buttercupbetty,

You can try to get the info from Latex Green but it will probably be difficult. My experience is that Latex manufactures do not want to talk to consumers, only mattress manufacturers. Also, they seem to hide information about how their mattresses are made considering that a trade secret. Finally although they know the ingredients they use they may not know what is in the final product. Many chemical reactions occur in the manufacturing that alter the chemicals. Also many of the chemicals simply facilitate the manufacturing and never become part of the final product. I imagine Phoenix would know more about this subject and how to get info on the composition of a latex mattress that I do.

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20 Nov 2013 11:59 - 20 Nov 2013 12:02 #30 by Phoenix
Replied by Phoenix on topic Latex Allergies
Hi buttercupbetty,

My doctor just ordered the labs. I am waiting for him to respond to my question about skin testing. I believe that this is only done by a specialist? Besides, how would they know what chemicals to test me for? (As in Latex Green's recipe.)


The test for a type I latex allergy is generally done as a blood test because a skin test can sometimes lead to an unexpected reaction. Once the type 1 allergy is ruled out with a blood test then there is a standardized skin test done for a rubber additive series of chemicals that are used in rubber (these are not specific to any particular manufacturer but cover the generic range of chemicals used). The ones that cause type IV allergies are generally the accelerants or the antioxidants used. These are generally only an issue with dipped latex products such as condoms, balloons, rubber gloves or other similar products where there is direct contact or with products such as gloves that are powdered and the powder (such as cornstarch) containing latex particles can become airborne. Because there is no contact with the latex in a mattress and most of the residual chemicals (and surface proteins) are washed out in the production of foamed latex (unlike most dipped latex products) the only time these would likely be an issue would be with dust particles in the air from either latex that was cut and still has some residual dust from the cutting or a uncovered latex mattress.

Hey, do you think I could contact Latex Green???


I doubt this would be necessary because the blood test would rule out the type I allergy and the skin tests for latex additives would cover the chemicals they use generically. It's unlikely that they (or any company) would provide the specifics of their compounding formula as this is closely guarded proprietary information.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 20 Nov 2013 12:02 by Phoenix.

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