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Natural Rubber Latex (NRL) is a liquid material that is obtained from the Hevea brasiliensis plant. According to a 1993 report put out by German scientists, the allergenic protein in latex is the Rubber Elongation Factor (REF), a protein located on the membrane of rubber particles. These particles are smaller than most bacteria. This protein will appear even when the latex serum is washed and spun at a high rate of speed. These proteins are typically the ones that affect spina bifida patients. In 1998, a latex protein was discovered that had not previously been known. This is the protein that is responsible for most healthcare worker's allergies. Some allergans have not been identified and can not be tested for; therefore, you may have a latex allergy without testing positive for the allergy. (Hunting for the elusive latex allergin, New Straits Times, March 23, 2003, retrieved from Latex Allergy Links August 7, 2004.)

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