A study recently published in December 2012 medical journal called Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, stated that widely used pesticides and chlorinated water may be contributing to an increasing level of food allergies in the United States.
Bear with me, this may not be the easiest article to read that I’ve written.
Elina Jerschow, MD, and her colleagues are from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Monteﬁore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. They analyzed the records of participants aged 6 years old and older who had urinary metabolites of chlorinated phenols and allergen-speciﬁc immunoglobulin E levels measured as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2006. They also had the participants ﬁll out a questionnaire about the use of pesticides during the previous 7 days.
Dr Jerschow and her colleagues were trying to determine whether dichlorophenols (2.4-dichlorophenol and 2.5- dichlorophenol), used as common pesticides and in water chlorination, are in any way associated with allergic sensitizations. Whew, I know this is not easy to understand if you haven’t had a lot about chemistry in the past, but take my word for it, these are not chemicals that you want a lot of ﬂoating around and taking residence in your body’s bloodstream and organs. These chemicals can cause liver and kidney failure and much more.
I will try to narrow the results of the study down a little better so hopefully you can understand the results better.
* There were 10,348 NHANES study participants.
* Out of the 10,348 people, 2,548 of them had both dichlorophenol urine testing and blood (serum) antigen-speciﬁc IgE testing.
* Out of the 2,548 people the researchers could not use the records for 337 people because of either missing records, or people leaving the study before it was over.
* The researchers found that 2,182 people had levels of 2.5-dichlorophenol above the detection limit and 2020 people had levels of 2.4-dichlorophenol above the detection limit.
Dr. Jerschow said in a news release, “Our research shows that high levels of dichlorophenol-containing pesticides can possibly weaken food intolerance in some people, causing food allergy. This chemical is commonly found in pesticides used by farmers and consumer insect and weed control products, as well as tap water.”
Dr Jerschow concluded, “Previous studies have shown that both food allergies and environmental pollution are increasing in the United States. The results of our study suggest these two trends might be linked, and that increased use of pesticides and other chemicals is associated with a higher prevalence of food allergies.
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