What is latex?

Natural rubber latex is a milky sap-like substance produced by the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), found in Southeast Asia, India and South America. When the trunks of these rubber trees are tapped, they produce latex. This latex is then collected and used in manufacturing. Natural Rubber Latex is harvested from the rubber 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. Then the solids are separated, like cream from milk. The latex used for medical examination and 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.