What is Latex?
"Latex" is a milky substance that many plants exude when they are cut. It is most
commonly associated with the natural rubber tree (Hevea Braziliensis).
By extension, "Latex" is also used to describe the liquid form of several Latex-Free
rubber and plastic materials, like Neoprene, Nitrile, etc.
Natural renewable source
Natural Rubber Latex is harvested from the Hevea tree by a process of shallow cuts
in the bark, called Tapping. Latex coagulates on exposure to air, so the tapped
liquid is "preserved" with Ammonia, and the solids are separated, like cream from
The Latex used for surgical gloves is filtered and combined with selected chemical
ingredients to enhance Elasticity, Strength, Durability, and resistance to damage
from Ozone and other ageing effects.
Some people are contact-sensitive to the natural proteins in latex. The contact
sensitivity of the product can be reduced by extensive Leaching during glove
manufacturing, such as that done by Ansell.
Natural rubber latex offers superior Elasticity and Impermeability, so it's the
preferred material for Surgical Glove manufacture. It's waterproof, airtight, capable
of high-tensile strength and puncture resistance (even at extremely thin gauges)
and conforms to the hand and fingers for maximum tactility. Natural rubber latex
gloves can be disposed of by either land fill or incineration without environmental
For specific end-users, gloves are also made from alternative films, including Neoprene,
Nitrile, Polyurethane, and Polyvinyl chloride.
If you need a different glove for a specific purpose, contact your Ansell glove
specialist for advice.