Commentary: Pesticides in water and allergies

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I’m guessing we’ve got another version of junk research, with results that won’t hold water, alleging pesticides in the environment and ultimately in the country’s water supply is why food allergies are becoming more and more common.

Researchers at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology used government data to try and prove people with more dichlorophenols in their urine are more likely to have food allergies. The contention is that dichlorophenols, a kind of chlorine found in certain pesticides, kills bacteria, and could kill naturally occurring bacteria in humans' digestive systems, causing food allergies.

"We wanted to see if there was an association between certain pesticides and food allergies, and we were specifically interested in dichlorophenols because those were the ones that had this antibacterial effect," said lead researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow. "When researchers have compared bacteria from the bowel in healthy kids versus bacteria in the bowel for kids that have lot of allergies, they've noticed a big difference." This quote comes from Sydney Lupkin on an ABC news blog.

Jerschow was looking for persons that might have high levels of dichlorophenols and food allergies. Because it would only be an association between the two and so little is known, “these findings could mean that the chemicals caused the food allergies, or it could mean the food allergies caused the chemicals in the urine. That part is not yet clear,” Lupkin blogged in explaining how nothing is really proven.

There are researchers and environmentally leaning scientists ready to condemn pesticides and spreading the word like there is definitive proof. Even saying there is increasing evidence that pesticide exposure can damage the immune system, which might increase allergies as well, is just giving environmental activists all they need to get excited.

Improperly using a pesticide without proper safety gear and procedures is why there are caution and danger labeling; therefore, the threat from exposure is known, but proving food is contaminated and transferring breakdown compounds to human bodies and affecting immune systems is a huge jump.

Click here to read the original blog. 

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Colorado  |  December, 21, 2012 at 11:09 AM

I believe I was reading somewhere that this is one of the products/by-products from chlorinating water for drinking. If I remember correctly it was one of the long lasting products added to the water because it was long acting. Any one know if I am correct in thinking this way. Another way to blame ag for our ills from not eating properly?

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