In a breakthrough research, pesticides and chemicals in drinking water and produce has been associated with the increased prevalence of food allergies.
Out 2,211 people tested, those found with the highest levels of chemical dichlorophenols in their urine were 80% more likely to have a food allergy.
Dichlorophenols, a chemical used in tap water chlorination and food pesticides, modify the composition of water and food items, thus making changes in the human system when ingested.
“High urine levels of dichlorophenols are associated with the presence of sensitization to foods in a US population,” the study explained. “Excessive use of dichlorophenols may contribute to the increasing incidence of food allergies in westernized societies.”
The study is currently a hypothesis, and has not been confirmed by further research, although it gives evidence that suggests a possible association.
“Adults can develop food allergies even though they’re not kids anymore,” explained the study’s author Dr. Elina Jerschow. “Adult allergies to foods are on the rise. That certainly includes shellfish and fish allergies, but also peanuts. We don’t know what influences this development. But having been exposed to dichlorophenols in our study suggests there could be some link.”
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