By Cristen Casados
Food allergies have been on the rise in America, affecting about 15 million people, and a common chemical used to chlorinate tap water and treat pests on produce could be to blame. New studies of existing government data by researchers at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology indicate that there may be a link between the pesticides commonly found being used in tap water and produce with food allergies.
Researchers studied the amounts of dichlorophenols in human urine to see if there was a possible connection to food allergies. Dichlorophenols are a kind of poorly biodegradable chlorine found in certain pesticides that are used to kill bacteria and bugs in tap water and produce. Studies are finding that these dichlorophenols could possibly be killing the naturally occurring bacteria in the human digestive system, leaving no defense against food allergies, that we would otherwise have.
Throughout life, our bodies build up a natural tolerance to substances such as polen, molds, animal danders and foods like milk, soy, wheat, eggs and nuts. This tolerance, known as allergic antibodies, can become weakened when chemicals like dichlorophenols are introduced to the body, thus creating an allergy or more commonly, intolerance to common foods and substances.
Researchers have known for years that pesticides and insecticides are toxic to humans when exposed to them on large levels. It’s only recently that they’ve discovered the low-level exposure effects on humans.
If you would like to begin taking precautionary measures to remove harmful pesticides and chemicals from your diet, you can begin by filtering your tap water. Please note that drinking bottled water does not necessarily protect you. Also, you probably already know that harmful pesticides can be found in our fruits and vegetables, but did you know that are also found in fruit juices and even products containing cocoa powder?
Before you begin removing produce, fruit juice and chocolate from your diet, do a little research by reading labels. Try to focus on eating only 100% organic produce, juices and other foods.
Organic foods are foods that are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation. Organic meat producing animals, like poultry and cows are not treated with growth hormones or antibiotics.
If you are suffering from common food allergies, we encourage you to do a little study of your own. Try removing products that could possibly contain pesticides by switching to 100% organic produce and start filtering your drinking water. Make note of any changes in your food allergies.