Throughout the history of modern medicine, allergies have been linked to a wide range of factors, which run the entire gamut of human existence, from lifestyle and environmental causes, to genetic predispositions and dietary choices. Food allergies are generally disruptive to the course of human life, be it to a smaller extent, or to a severe one, where the sufferer is forced to closely monitor the ingredient list of everything they ingest, paying special attention to common allergens (such as peanuts, soy, and gluten), as well as to less common ones (shellfish, for instance). Despite the fact that the problem could seem mild on first glance, some 30,000 people in the United States report food allergy issues to the emergency room each year, making it one of the most widespread health concerns in the country, according to Health Testing Centers.
Luckily, since this is an issue that affects many, it also means it is constantly under public scrutiny, as well as in the attention of the medical and scientific communities. As such, in recent news, a brand new medical report confirmed the assumption that exposure to elevated levels of pesticides and other chemical disinfectants is inextricably linked to food allergies. The research was undertaken by experts and healthcare professionals from the Montefiore Medical Center, in Bronx, New York. It determined that people exposed to chemicals called dichlorophenols (commonly abbreviated as DCPs) have every cause for concern, when it comes to food allergies, and should immediately sign up for allergy testing, in case they haven’t done this already.
DCPs are the result of a chemical component breakdown that occurs naturally in some of the most widely used types of pesticides (among which the experts notoriously listed a chlorine derivate which is commonly employed by public water-work companies for the purification of drinking water). These chemicals are also used in several other mass products, among which air fresheners, cake deodorizers used for the sanitization of public urinals, herbicides, and moth balls. The scientists used data collected via the National Health and Nutrition Survey, in order to compare the level of these chemicals present in the urine samples they harvested from participants in the test, to the level of food antibodies that occurred in the participants’ blood.
While this method is not entirely foul-proof, since it fails to take into account sensitivity to foods that some people can live with, while being entirely unaware of them, it is perhaps the most accurate one currently available to modern science. There were over 2,200 partakers in the test, and the vast majority did come up positive for traces of chemicals in their urine. Of that majority, 400 people were sensitive to the consumption of certain foods (eggs, milk, peanuts, etc.), while an even larger number (over 1,000 people) displayed a sensitivity to common environmental allergens – ragweed and pet dander were among the most commonly cited occurrences. Luckily, food allergy blood test can now swiftly and accurately determine such issues, which makes it relatively easy for sufferers to avoid the entire host of medical issues associated with allergies, such as breathing, digestion, or even cardiovascular problems.