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Mar 15, 2013 | Natural Society | Elizabeth Renter
Food allergies seem to have been around forever, but there is little denying the fact that they have grown more prevalent over the past few decades. Just a generation ago, it was rare for a child to have a peanut or milk allergy, for instance, and now it seems that all schools are being forced to go peanut-free in order to accommodate all of the allergic children. As a matter of fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say food allergies increased 18% between 1997 and 2007 for children 18 years old and younger. So, what’s to blame?
Recent research published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggests chlorine, found in water and food, may be to blame.
Scientists studied more than 10,000 people who took part in the U.S. National health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2005 and 2006. They found that those people with the highest concentrations of a chlorine byproduct (dichlorophenols) in their urine also had the highest risk of food allergies.
“High urine levels of dichlorophenols are associated with the presence of sensitization to foods in a US population,” they said. “Excessive use of dichlorophenols may contribute to the increasing incidence of food allergies in westernized societies.”Many communities use chlorine in the processing of tap water, and the majority of Americans get their drinking water from a tap. But, this isn’t the only source. Pesticides used in farming are also a big source of chlorine. So big, in fact, that the researchers say this chlorine could be having more of an impact than the chlorine in your drinking water. The chlorine found in pesticides likely helps trigger the numerous negative health effects of pesticides.