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Latex is a stable dispersion (
emulsion An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally Miscibility, immiscible (unmixable or unblendable) owing to liquid-liquid phase separation. Emulsions are part of a more general class of two-phase systems of matter called colloid ...

emulsion
) of
polymer A polymer (; Greek ''poly- Poly, from the Greek :wikt:πολύς, πολύς meaning "many" or "much", may refer to: Businesses * China Poly Group Corporation, a Chinese business group, and its subsidiaries: ** Poly Property, a Hong Kong inc ...

polymer
microparticles in water. Latexes are found in
nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter an ...

nature
, but synthetic latexes are common as well. Latex as found in nature is a milky
fluid In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular s ...
found in 10% of all flowering plants (
angiosperms Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greec ...
). It is a complex emulsion that coagulates on exposure to air, consisting of
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
s,
alkaloid Alkaloids are a class of base (chemistry), basic, natural product, naturally occurring organic compounds that contain at least one nitrogen atom. This group also includes some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties. Som ...
s,
starch Starch or amylum is a consisting of numerous units joined by s. This is produced by most green s for energy storage. Worldwide, it is the most common carbohydrate in human diets, and is contained in large amounts in s like , es, (corn), , ...
es,
sugar Sugar is the generic name for , soluble s, many of which are used in food. Simple sugars, also called s, include , , and . Compound sugars, also called s or double sugars, are molecules made of two monosaccharides joined by a . Common examp ...

sugar
s,
oil An oil is any nonpolar chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can b ...
s,
tannin Tannins (or tannoids) are a class of , ic s that bind to and s and various other organic compounds including s and s. The term ''tannin'' (from ''tanner'', from ''tannāre'', from ''tannum'', ) refers to the use of oak and other bark ...
s,
resin In polymer chemistry and materials science, resin is a solid or highly Viscosity, viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin that is typically convertible into polymers. Resins are usually mixtures of organic compounds. This article focus ...

resin
s, and gums. It is usually exuded after tissue injury. In most plants, latex is white, but some have yellow, orange, or scarlet latex. Since the 17th century, latex has been used as a term for the fluid substance in plants, deriving from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
word for "liquid". It serves mainly as
defense Defense or defence may refer to: Tactical, martial, and political acts or groups * Defense (military) A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is ty ...
against
herbivorous A herbivore is an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular r ...

herbivorous
insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...

insect
s. Latex is not to be confused with
plant sap SAP SE () is a German multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a sove ...

plant sap
; it is a distinct substance, separately produced, and with separate functions. The word latex is also used to refer to natural latex
rubber Rubber, also called India rubber, latex, Amazonian rubber, ''caucho'', or ''caoutchouc'', as initially produced, consists of polymer A polymer (; Greek ''poly- Poly, from the Greek :wikt:πολύς, πολύς meaning "many" or "much" ...

rubber
, particularly non-
vulcanized Vulcanization (British: Vulcanisation) refers to a range of processes for hardening rubbers. The term originally referred exclusively to the treatment of natural rubber with sulfur, which remains the most common practice. It has also grown to i ...

vulcanized
rubber. Such is the case in products like latex
glove A glove is a garment A kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel and attire) are items worn on the body. Clothing is typically made of fabrics or textile A textile is a flexi ...

glove
s, latex
condom A condom is a sheath-shaped used during to reduce the probability of or a (STI). There are both male and s. With proper use—and use at every act of intercourse—women whose partners use male condoms experience a 2% per-year pregnancy ra ...

condom
s and
latex clothing Latex rubber is used in many types of clothing. Rubber has traditionally been used in protective clothing, including gas masks and Wellington boots. Rubber is now generally being replaced in these application by plastics. Mackintoshes have tradit ...
.


Biology


Articulated laticifers

The
cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Closed spaces * Monastic cell, a small room, hut, or cave in which a monk or religious recluse lives * Prison cell, a room used to hold peopl ...
(
laticiferA laticifer is a type of elongated secretory cell found in the leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis. The leave ...
s) in which latex is found make up the laticiferous system, which can form in two very different ways. In many plants, the laticiferous system is formed from rows of cells laid down in the
meristem The meristem is a type of tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carry out a specific function * ''Triphosa haesitata'', a species of geometer moth found in North America * ''Triphosa du ...
of the
stem Stem or STEM may refer to: Biology * Plant stem, the aboveground structures that have vascular tissue and that support leaves and flowers ** Stipe (botany), a stalk that supports some other structure ** Stipe (mycology), the stem supporting the c ...

stem
or
root In vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia artēria'' 'windpipe' + φυτά ''phutá'' 'plants'), form a large group ...

root
. The
cell wall A cell wall is a structural layer surrounding some types of cells, just outside the cell membrane cell membrane vs. Prokaryotes The cell membrane (also known as the plasma membrane (PM) or cytoplasmic membrane, and historically referred to a ...
s between these cells are dissolved so that continuous tubes, called latex vessels, are formed. Since these vessels are made of many cells, they are known as ''articulated laticifers''. This method of formation is found in the poppy family and in the
rubber Rubber, also called India rubber, latex, Amazonian rubber, ''caucho'', or ''caoutchouc'', as initially produced, consists of polymer A polymer (; Greek ''poly- Poly, from the Greek :wikt:πολύς, πολύς meaning "many" or "much" ...

rubber
trees (
Para rubber tree ''Hevea brasiliensis'', the Pará rubber tree, ''sharinga'' tree, seringueira, or, most commonly, the rubber tree or rubber plant, is a flowering plant The flowering plants, also known as Angiospermae (), or Magnoliophyta (), are the most dive ...
, members of the family
Euphorbiaceae The Euphorbiaceae, the spurge ''Euphorbia'' is a very large and diverse genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that ...

Euphorbiaceae
, members of the , such as the Panama rubber tree ''
Castilla elastica ''Castilla elastica'', the Panama rubber tree, is a tree native to the tropical The tropics are the region of Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at N and the ...
''), and members of the family
Asteraceae The family (biology), family Asteraceae, alternatively Compositae, consists of over 32,000 known species of flowering plants in over 1,900 genera within the Order (biology), order Asterales. Commonly referred to as the aster, daisy, composite, o ...

Asteraceae
. For instance, '' Parthenium argentatum'' the guayule plant, is in the tribe
Heliantheae The Heliantheae (sometimes called the sunflower tribe) are the third-largest Tribe (biology), tribe in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). With some 190 genera and nearly 2500 recognized species, only the tribes Senecioneae and Astereae are larger ...
; other latex-bearing Asteraceae with articulated laticifers include members of the
Cichorieae The Cichorieae (also called Lactuceae) are a tribe in the plant family Asteraceae that includes 93 genera, more than 1,600 sexually reproductive species and more than 7,000 Apomixis, apomictic species. They are found primarily in temperate regions ...
, a
clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyly, monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineage (evolution), lineal descendants - on a phylogenetic tree. R ...

clade
whose members produce latex, some of them in commercially interesting amounts. This includes ''
Taraxacum kok-saghyz ''Taraxacum kok-saghyz'', often abbreviated as TKS and commonly referred to as the Kazakh dandelion, rubber root, or Russian dandelion, is a species of dandelion native to Kazakhstan Kazakhstan,, * russian: Казахстан, Kazakhstan, ...

Taraxacum kok-saghyz
'', a species cultivated for latex production.


Non-articulated laticifers

In the
milkweed ''Asclepias'' is a genus of herbaceous, perennial plant, perennial, flowering plants known as milkweeds, named for their latex, a milky substance containing cardiac glycosides termed cardenolides, exuded where cells are damaged. Most species are ...
and
spurge ''Euphorbia'' is a very large and diverse genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. Th ...

spurge
families, on the other hand, the laticiferous system is formed quite differently. Early in the development of the seedling, latex cells differentiate, and as the plant grows these latex cells grow into a branching system extending throughout the plant. In many , the entire structure is made from a single cell – this type of system is known as a ''non-articulated laticifer'', to distinguish it from the multi-cellular structures discussed above. In the mature plant, the entire laticiferous system is descended from a single cell or group of cells present in the
embryo An embryo is the early stage of development of a multicellular organism A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms ar ...

embryo
. The laticiferous system is present in all parts of the mature plant, including roots, stems,
leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis. The leaves, stem, flower and fruit together form the shoot system. Leaves are ...

leaves
, and sometimes the
fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

fruit
s. It is particularly noticeable in the
cortical Cortex or cortical may refer to: Science Anatomy * Cortex (anatomy), the outermost or superficial layer of an organ * Cortex (hair), the middle layer of a strand of hair * Adrenal cortex, the portion of the adrenal gland that produces cortisol and ...
tissues. Latex is usually exuded as a white liquid, but is some cases it can be clear, yellow or red, as in
Cannabaceae Cannabaceae is a small family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typica ...
.


Productive species

Latex is produced by 20,000
flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greec ...

flowering plant
species from over 40
families In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinity (law), affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the w ...
. These include both dicots and
monocots Monocotyledons (), commonly referred to as monocots, (Lilianae ''sensu'' Chase & Reveal) are grass and grass-like flowering plants (angiosperms), the seeds of which typically contain only one Embryo#Plant embryos, embryonic leaf, or cotyledon. The ...
. Latex has been found in 14 percent of tropical plant species, as well as six percent of temperate plant species. Several members of the fungal kingdom also produce latex upon injury, such as '''' and other milk-caps. This suggests it is the product of
convergent evolution Convergent evolution is the independent evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; eithe ...
and has been selected for on many separate occasions.


Defense function

Latex functions to protect the plant from herbivores. The idea was first proposed in 1887 by Joseph F. James, who noted that latex
carries with it at the same time such disagreeable properties that it becomes a better protection to the plant from enemies than all the thorns, prickles, or hairs that could be provided. In this plant, so copious and so distasteful has the sap become that it serves a most important purpose in its economy.
Evidence showing this defense function include the finding that
slug Slug, or land slug, is a common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. ...

slug
s will eat leaves drained of their latex but not intact ones, that many insects sever the veins carrying latex before they feed, and that the latex of '''' (sandhill
milkweed ''Asclepias'' is a genus of herbaceous, perennial plant, perennial, flowering plants known as milkweeds, named for their latex, a milky substance containing cardiac glycosides termed cardenolides, exuded where cells are damaged. Most species are ...

milkweed
) kills by trapping 30% of newly hatched
monarch butterfly The monarch butterfly or simply monarch (''Danaus plexippus'') is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae) in the family Nymphalidae. Other common names, depending on region, include milkweed, common tiger, wanderer, and black-veined brown. It ...
caterpillars. Other evidence is that latex contains 50–1000× higher concentrations of defense substances than other plant tissues. These toxins include ones that are also toxic to the plant and consist of a diverse range of chemicals that are either poisonous or " antinutritive". Latex is actively moved to the area of injury; in the case of '' Cryptostegia grandiflora'', this can be more than 70 cm. The clotting property of latex is functional in this defense since it limits wastage and its stickiness traps insects and their mouthparts. While there exist other explanations for the existence of latex including storage and movement of plant nutrients, waste, and maintenance of water balance that " sentially none of these functions remain credible and none have any empirical support".


Applications

The latex of many species can be processed to produce many materials. * Balatá and
gutta percha Gutta-percha is a tree of the genus '' Palaquium'' in the family Sapotaceae. The name also refers to the rigid, naturally biologically Chemically inert, inert, resilient, electrically nonconductor, nonconductive, thermoplastic latex produced fro ...
latex contain an inelastic polymer related to rubber. *
Chicle Chicle () is a natural gum traditionally used in making chewing gum and other products. It is collected from several species of Meso America, Mesoamerican trees in the genus ''Manilkara'', including ''Manilkara zapota, M. zapota'', ''Manilkara chi ...
and
jelutong Jelutong is a suburb of George Town, Penang, George Town in Penang, Malaysia. Located south of the Pinang River, Penang, Pinang River, Jelutong has been inhabited since as early as the late 18th century, when traders from Aceh and Indian subcontine ...

jelutong
tree latex was used in
chewing gum Chewing gum is a soft, cohesive substance designed to be chewed without being swallowed. Modern chewing gum is composed of gum baseGum base is the non-nutritive, non-digestible, water-insoluble Mastication, masticatory delivery system used to ...
.


Personal and healthcare products

Natural rubber Rubber, also called India rubber, latex, Amazonian rubber, ''caucho'', or ''caoutchouc'', as initially produced, consists of polymer A polymer (; Greek ''wikt:poly-, poly-'', "many" + ''wikt:-mer, -mer'', "part") is a Chemical substance, ...

Natural rubber
is the most important product obtained from latex; more than 12,000 plant species yield latex containing rubber, though in the vast majority of those species the rubber is not suitable for commercial use. This latex is used to make many other products including
mattress A mattress is a large, usually rectangular pad for supporting a lying A lie is an assertion that is believed to be false, typically used with the purpose of deceiving someone. The practice of communicating lies is called lying. A person who ...

mattress
es,
glove A glove is a garment A kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel and attire) are items worn on the body. Clothing is typically made of fabrics or textile A textile is a flexi ...

glove
s,
swim cap A swimming cap, swim cap or bathing cap, is a tightly fitted, skin-tight garment, commonly made from silicone A silicone or polysiloxane is a polymer made up of siloxane (−R2Si−O−SiR2−, where R = organic group). They are typically ...

swim cap
s,
condom A condom is a sheath-shaped used during to reduce the probability of or a (STI). There are both male and s. With proper use—and use at every act of intercourse—women whose partners use male condoms experience a 2% per-year pregnancy ra ...

condom
s,
catheter In medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge) ...

catheter
s and
balloon A balloon is a flexible bag that can be inflated with a gas, such as helium Helium (from el, ἥλιος, helios Helios; Homeric Greek: ), Latinized as Helius; Hyperion and Phaethon are also the names of his father and son respectiv ...

balloon
s.


Opium and opiates

Dried latex from the
opium poppy ''Papaver somniferum'', commonly known as the opium poppy or breadseed poppy, is a species of flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is deri ...

opium poppy
is called
opium Opium (or poppy tears, scientific name: ''Lachryma papaveris'') is dried latex Latex is a stable dispersion (emulsion An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally Miscibility, immiscible (unmixable or unblendable) o ...

opium
, the source of several useful
analgesic An analgesic or painkiller is any member of the group of used to achieve analgesia, relief from . They are distinct from s, which temporarily affect, and in some instances completely eliminate, . Analgesic choice is also determined by the type ...
alkaloid Alkaloids are a class of base (chemistry), basic, natural product, naturally occurring organic compounds that contain at least one nitrogen atom. This group also includes some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties. Som ...
s such as
codeine Codeine is an opiate and prodrug of morphine used to treat pain, cough medicine, coughing, and diarrhea. It is found naturally in the sap of the opium poppy, ''Papaver somniferum''. It is typically used to treat mild to moderate degrees of pain ...

codeine
,
thebaine Thebaine (paramorphine), also known as codeine methyl enol ether, is an opiate Opiate is a term classically used in pharmacology to mean a substance derived from opium. Opioid, a more modern term, is used to designate all substances, both natur ...

thebaine
, and
morphine Morphine is a of the family that is found naturally in a dark brown, resinous form, from the poppy plant ('). It can be taken orally or injected. It acts directly on the (CNS) to induce analgesia and alter perception and emotional respons ...

morphine
, the latter two of which can then further be used in the synthesis and manufacture of other (typically stronger)
opioids Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptor Opioid receptors are a group of inhibitory G protein-coupled receptors with opioids as ligands. The endogenous opioids are dynorphins, enkephalins, endorphins, endomorphins and nocicepti ...

opioids
for medicinal use, and of
heroin Heroin, also known as diacetylmorphine and diamorphine among other names, is an opioid Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptor Opioid receptors are a group of inhibitory G protein-coupled receptors with opioids as ligands. T ...

heroin
for the
illegal drug trade The illegal drug trade or drug trafficking is a global black market dedicated to the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of drug prohibition, prohibited drugs. Most jurisdictions prohibitionism, prohibit trade, except under license, ...
. The opium poppy is also the source of medically useful non-analgesic alkaloids, such as
papaverine Papaverine (Latin language, Latin ''papaver'', "poppy") is an opium alkaloid antispasmodic drug, used primarily in the treatment of visceral spasm and vasospasm (especially those involving the intestines, heart, or brain), and occasionally in the ...

papaverine
and
noscapine Noscapine (also known as Narcotine, Nectodon, Nospen, Anarcotine and (archaic) Opiane) is a benzylisoquinoline alkaloid Alkaloids are a class of basic BASIC (Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of General-purpose pr ...

noscapine
.


Clothing

Latex is used in many types of
clothing Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long ...

clothing
. Worn on the body (or applied directly by painting), it tends to be
skin-tight A skin-tight garment is a garment that is held to the skin usually by elasticity (solid mechanics), elastic tension using some type of stretch fabric. Commercial stretch fabrics ('elastomerics') such as spandex or elastane (widely branded as 'Ly ...
, producing a "second skin" effect.


Industrial and biological applications from synthetic latexes

Synthetic latexes are used in
coating A coating is a covering that is applied to the surface of an object, usually referred to as the substrate Substrate may refer to: Physical layers *Substrate (biology), the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the surface or medium ...
s (e.g., latex paint) and
glue adhesive dispensed from a tube Adhesive, also known as glue, cement, mucilage, or paste, is any non-metallic substance applied to one or both surfaces of two separate items that molecular binding , binds them together and resists their separati ...
s because they solidify by coalescence of the polymer particles as the water evaporates. These synthetic latexes therefore can form films without releasing potentially toxic organic solvents in the environment. Other uses include cement additives and to conceal information on
scratchcard A scratchcard (also called a scratch off, scratch ticket, scratcher, scratchum, scratch-it, scratch game, scratch-and-win, instant game or instant lottery. In England a scratchie, lot scrots, or scritchies. Mostly, a small card, often made of t ...

scratchcard
s. Latex, usually
styrene Styrene () is an organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that contain - . Due to carbon's ability to (form chains with other carbon s), millions of organic compounds are known. The study of the properties, reactions, an ...

styrene
-based, is also used in
immunoassay An immunoassay is a biochemical test that measures the presence or concentration of a macromolecule or a small molecule in a solution through the use of an antibody (usually) or an antigen (sometimes). The molecule detected by the immunoassay is o ...

immunoassay
s.


Allergic reactions

Some people only experience a when exposed to latex, like
eczema Dermatitis is of the , typically characterized by iness, and a . In cases of short duration, there may be small s, while in long-term cases the skin may become . The area of skin involved can vary from small to covering the entire body. Derma ...

eczema
,
contact dermatitis Contact dermatitis is a type of inflammation of the skin. Some symptoms of contact dermatitis can include itchy or dry skin, a red rash, bumps, blisters, and swelling. The rash isn't contagious or life-threatening, but it can be very uncomfortabl ...

contact dermatitis
or developing a
rash A rash is a change of the which affects its color, appearance, or texture. A rash may be localized in one part of the body, or affect all the skin. Rashes may cause the skin to change color, , become warm, bumpy, , dry, cracked or ed, swell, an ...

rash
. Others have a serious
latex allergy Latex allergy is a medical term encompassing a range of allergic Allergies, also known as allergic diseases, are a number of conditions caused by hypersensitivity Hypersensitivity (also called hypersensitivity reaction or intolerance) refers ...
, and exposure to latex products such as
latex glove glove A rubber glove is a glove made out of natural rubber or Synthetic rubber. Rubber gloves can be unsupported (rubber only) or supported (rubber coating of textile glove). Its primary purpose is protection of the hands while performing tasks inv ...
s can cause
anaphylactic shock Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. It typically causes more than one of the following: an itchy rash, throat or tongue swelling, shortness of breath Shortness of breath (SOB), also known as dy ...
. Guayule latex has only 2% of the levels of protein found in ''
Hevea ''Hevea'' is a genus of flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anythin ...
'' latexes, and is being researched as a lower-allergen substitute. Additionally, chemical processes may be employed to reduce the amount of antigenic protein in ''Hevea'' latex, yielding alternative materials such as Vytex Natural Rubber Latex which provide significantly reduced exposure to latex allergens. About half of people with
spina bifida Spina bifida (Latin for "split spine"; SB) is a in which there is incomplete closing of the and the around the during . There are three main types: spina bifida occulta, meningocele and myelomeningocele. Meningocele and myelomeningocele may ...
are also allergic to natural latex rubber, as well as people who have had multiple surgeries, and people who have had prolonged exposure to natural latex.


Microbial degradation

Several species of the
microbe A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
genera ''
Actinomycetes The Actinomycetales are an order of Actinobacteria. A member of the order is often called an actinomycete. The actinomycetes are diverse and contain a variety of subdivisions, as well as yet-unclassified isolates, mainly because some genera ar ...
'', ''
Streptomyces ''Streptomyces'' is the largest genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term ma ...
'', ''
Nocardia ''Nocardia'' is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a ...

Nocardia
'', ''
Micromonospora ''Micromonospora'' is a genus of bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few ...
'', and '' Actinoplanes'' are capable of consuming rubber latex. However, the rate of biodegradation is slow, and the growth of bacteria utilizing rubber as a sole carbon source is also slow.


See also

*
Latex clothing Latex rubber is used in many types of clothing. Rubber has traditionally been used in protective clothing, including gas masks and Wellington boots. Rubber is now generally being replaced in these application by plastics. Mackintoshes have tradit ...
*
Natural rubber Rubber, also called India rubber, latex, Amazonian rubber, ''caucho'', or ''caoutchouc'', as initially produced, consists of polymer A polymer (; Greek ''wikt:poly-, poly-'', "many" + ''wikt:-mer, -mer'', "part") is a Chemical substance, ...

Natural rubber
*


References


Footnotes


Notes


External links

* {{Authority control Materials Sculpture materials Rubber