Could Tap Water Bring on Food Allergies?

What's in Your Tap Water?
Does the recent ACAAI study linking pesticides and food allergy have you eyeing up your glass of water a bit differently?

I'm still digesting this week's news about a link between a chemical that is used in pesticides and in the chlorination of tap water to an increase in food allergies.

The whole hygiene theory hasn't been sitting well with me (no, we're not overly clean. There is plenty of dust in my house, thank you.), and the idea that environmental changes have lead to the explosion in the food allergy rate does make some sense.

This particular study involved over 2100 people and measured their urine levels of dichlorophenols.  The results showed that people with higher levels of dichlorophenols were more likely to have food allergies.  Dichlorophenols, in case you were not aware (yeah, I never heard of them either) are chemicals found in pesticides used in farming and chemicals used to chlorinate water.

"Our research shows that high levels of dichlorophenol-containing pesticides can possibly weaken food tolerance in some people, causing food allergy," said lead study author Elina Jerschow, MD, in a release from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. She further noted that previous studies have shown that food allergies and environmental pollution are increasing in the United States and this research may show a link between the two.

Researchers are quick to point out that further study is needed in this area and that pesticides or tap water do not necessarily cause food allergies.

Another piece of the food allergy puzzle perhaps...

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