A milky or colored juice in certain plants in cavities (called latex cells or latex tubes). It contains the peculiar principles of the plants, whether aromatic, bitter, or acid, and in many instances yields caoutchouc upon coagulation. The lattex of the India rubber plant produces the rubber of commerce on coagulation.
Any aqueous emulsion of finely divided rubber or plastic particles, especially such an emulsion used as a base for paint; as, a latex paint.
Natural rubber latex (NRL) has been used commercially for more than 100 years. Latex is derived from the milky sap of the Hevea brasiliensis tree, found originally in tropical climates of South America and now grown in Southeast Asia. Malaysia is currently the primary source of most of the worlds' raw latex. Latex is everywhere. Thousands of consumer and healthcare products contain natural rubber latex. Latex gloves were first introduced for surgery in 1890. Latex due to its extreme usefulness and cost effectiveness has infiltrated into virtually every aspect of the health care arena. On the down side, allergic reactions to latex usage is not uncommon.. For more information, go to: www.nursingceu.com/NCEU/courses/latex/index.htm