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Latex Allergy Sufferers Forum General Topics >> Complaints about businesses >> A lump of rubber for your baby to suck on anyone?!

Message started by Drizzle on 03.02.14 at 22:37:33

Title: A lump of rubber for your baby to suck on anyone?!
Post by Drizzle on 03.02.14 at 22:37:33

Not exactly a complant more a heads up - I have come across a brand of baby products called 'Hevea' recently. Well I suppose they are at least being up front about what their products are made from!

Marketing most interesting...

Interesting statement on developing allergy in the FAQs:


Title: Re: A lump of rubber for your baby to suck on anyo
Post by Bob on 04.02.14 at 07:39:59

I've contacted them with the following message, 'It may have escaped your notice but the Health and Safety Executive have branded natural rubber latex as a dangerous substance.   It is the main cause of latex allergy which is a life threatening condition.'

I will be interested in their reply.

Title: Re: A lump of rubber for your baby to suck on anyo
Post by Bob on 04.02.14 at 14:01:56


Dear Bob
Again, thank you for contacting me with your concerns re latex sensitivity.   I assure you that we fully respect the fact that you have first hand knowledge of the extreme effects natural rubber can have on latex sensitive individuals, and support the excellent site you provide for those vulnerable to this rare allergy.  
When pregnant with my first child, I was researching products that, in my opinion, would be beneficial to the good health and development of my baby.   It was important that any products genuinely improved on the current manufacturing and harvesting practices and that would have the least detrimental impact on the environment.   I was consciously investing in her long term future, by using products that not only had a sustainable future, but also provided many benefits for the environment, producers and users.   I found none, so decided to set up Hevea.
My priorities were:

   Natural materials
   Sustainable, responsibly sourced, environmentally positive and manufactured to the highest possible standards
   Flexible to work with to allow the manufacture of our one-piece design that eliminate potential bacteria to accumulate and therefore far more hygienic for babies.  And for us to create tactile, appealing products.
   Fair Trade compliant
   Comfortable and calming for baby to use frequently
   Potential to lessen the manufacturing carbon footprint and significantly improve on current damaging practices.
   Provide a revenue stream and business opportunity for those involved in the manufacturing process.

Natural rubber was the material we found to be most suitable.
Hevea's philosophy is that its products are as natural as we can make them.   You know from your work in allergies that unfortunately,  it is impossible to protect everyone all of the time whether an ingredient is natural or synthetic.  Having said that, I recognise that we have a responsibility to be as clear and concise as we can with our customers, encouraging them to take responsibility for their own informed decisions about choosing Hevea.
We also constantly look at ways in which we can improve all of our pratices right across our business.   For example, we have just signed an agreement with the WWF-UK to donate £1 from sales of our panda teether to donate to the charity's conservation work and as a direct result of this collaboration have redesigned our packaging, maintaining its eco credentials,  reducing it by 50%.
Rightly, you have pointed out that we should improve the information we provide on our website relating to the potential for latex allergy.    As a result, I am suggesting that we amend the copy as follows, please feel free to comment or suggest greater clarity:
> Protein is a naturally occurring substance in latex from the hevea brasiliensis tree.   It helps preserve the material in a liquid state to allow us to work with it. When we process the material to produce our raw rubber products, much of the latex protein is leeched out.  As a result, latex content in Hevea's products is extremely low.   No allergic reactions to any Hevea products have been received to date but users should note the potential for a latex allergic response.  
> Latex allergy reactions vary in severity with individuals.  If there is a known family history of latex allergy, or if you notice any symptoms that cause concern; or your child has had a previous reaction to any other rubber products, we suggest that you stop use immediately of your Hevea product and visit your medical practitioner.  Help with early symptoms may prevent more serious effects.
The rubber industry as a whole is looking at ways to improve on production to reduce the potential for reaction and we are supporting our suppliers in this initiative.

Obviously, I fully appreciate your concern and note your constructive and informative comments.  I  believe the changes above address them.    As a responsible business owner, and mother, I oversee and manage the quality of our products
and communications and reserve the right to decide on the materials and design we use.
Once again, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for approaching us with your concerns.
Best regards
Terese Hoffeldt
CEO & Founder

Title: Re: A lump of rubber for your baby to suck on anyo
Post by Drizzle on 04.02.14 at 17:09:59

My goodness that is a detailed reply in a short time frame Bob. The cynic in me suspects it indicates a  clear existing awareness of the issues and  well rehearsed counter arguments. I do admire her ethical stance but my gut feeling is that farming of rubber trees must be detrimental to the local environment as most cash crops are. Hmm. Drizzle

Title: Re: A lump of rubber for your baby to suck on anyo
Post by Bob on 04.02.14 at 20:53:20

I wrote to them two years ago and this is exactly the same reply I got then.   I may refer this to the HSE.

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