A natural rubber latex is safe for people with Type I latex allergy.
A natural rubber latex material is made from a desert plant, called guayule, grown extensively in the southwestern United States. The product, developed by Yulex Corp. (Carlsbad, CA), is safe for people with Type 1 latex allergy. According to the company, it also outperforms both synthetic and imported natural rubber latex.
“The market potential for the material is enormous, as 8 to 12% of healthcare workers and their patients suffer from tropical-latex allergy,” says Jeffrey Martin, CEO and president of Yulex. “Previously, there was no natural alternative to make medical devices safe for people with latex allergy.”
Yulex and its network of growers are cultivating proprietary, high-yield lines of guayule. These commercial farms feed the Yulex processing facility near Phoenix, where a patented processing system is used to extract the latex.
The company has signed a distribution agreement with Centrotrade USA and its sister company, Centrotrade Deutschland GmbH, to provide the material to medical device manufacturers.
Primary markets include medical products such as surgical gloves, condoms, and catheters.