Dichlorophenols May be Causing Your Food Allergies

chemical structure of 2,4-dichlorophenol

chemical structure of 2,4-dichlorophenol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dichlorophenols are used for the chlorination of water to kill bacteria, but they may be making you sensitized to certain foods like eggs, peanuts, soy, and wheat, according to a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center used a sample of 2,211 persons who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006 who were 6 years and older. Their purpose was to analyze the connection between exposure to environmental pesticides like dichlorophenols and food allergies. Among the parameters that were established for the study was the definition of high exposure to dichlorophenols being a presence of the substance in the urine at the 75th percentile and above.

After adjusting for a number of variables that could affect the outcome, the researchers found that urine dichlorophenol levels at the 75th percentile and above were associated with  sensitization to foods. Their conclusion, “Excessive use of dichlorophenols may contribute to the increasing incidence of food allergies in westernized societies.”

However, keep in mind that the results were based on statistics – how many people in the sample group exposed to dichlorophenols had food allergies, not medical examinations of participants. Therefore, it is unknown whether dichlorophenols caused the food allergies, or whether the food allergies caused the chemicals to be present in the urine.

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~ by chasm63 on December 3, 2012.

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