Latex vs Non-Latex September 20 2013, 0 Comments

What is latex?

Latex is a milky white fluid contained in tiny cells situated beneath the outer bark of the rubber tree genus Heveabraziliansis. The latex is obtained from the tree by using a special tapping knife to cut away a thin shaving of bark, initiating the flow of the white sap into a collecting cup. The rubber trees are manually tapped -- in fact, the tapper needs great skill with his knife to avoid damaging the tree. Rubber tappers usually work in the wee hours of the morning because rubber latex flows more easily before the heat of the day sets in. In a few hours the latex is collected from the cups that are hung from the tree. The latex is then sent to a processing facility to be processed into either natural rubber blocks or processed into latex concentrate. Countless rubber products can be made from natural rubber/latex. It constitutes a major component of car/truck/air plane tires, which still forms the bulk of its usage today. Natural rubber is intrinsically elastic, flexible, lasting, airtight, watertight and insulating and thousands of products take advantage of these useful properties.

 

                                         

  Rubber Tapping                           Latex Collected                              Tapping Knife

 

So what is non-latex?

Non-latex items are products made of synthetic rubber that mimic the properties of natural rubber. They are usually made out of some kind of polymer synthesized from petroleum byproducts. The production of synthetic rubber in the United States expanded greatly during World War II since the Axis powers controlled nearly all of the world's limited supplies of natural rubber by the mid 1940s when Japan conquered Asia. Today synthetic rubber is used in just as many if not more applications as natural rubber.

In regards to more personal applications, non-latex products such as gloves, dental dams, exercise bands etc are available to cater to individuals allergic to natural latex products. A small percentage of individuals are more susceptible to sensitization by the naturally occurring proteins residue present in natural rubber/latex products than others.

Which is better?

In terms of our exercise bands, both our latex and non-latex bands are identical in terms of functionality. So none is better and both are excellent, unless of course, you have a latex allergy.