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Chlorine and Food Allergies

child drinking from faucet

GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are in most of the foods and drinks we consume. Some studies show that the long-term effects of GMOs can cause damage to humans. Also, data shows that GMOs grown with pesticides and watered with chlorinated tap water result in higher numbers of food allergies. FARE, or Food Allergy Research and Education, says that researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans suffer from some type of food allergy. Our children have it worse as this disease is exponentially growing every year. Presently, 1 in every 13 children in the US has a food allergy. The economic cost of this creates nearly $25 billion per year for America.

The most common allergies are those to dairy, peanuts, wheat, fish, shellfish, and soy. According to the CDC, these types of allergies make up 90 percent of food allergies. Symptoms vary from mild rashes to life-threatening allergic reactions. Many people carry Epi pens in case they are exposed to a food they are allergic to.

The specific chemical that causes issues for humans is dichlorophenols. It is a type of chlorine in some pesticides that kills bacteria. If consumed in large numbers, it can cause renal failure, damage organs, and in some situations even be fatal.  Recently, researchers followed 10,348 participants in a U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Of them, 2,548 had dichlorophenol levels measured in urine; 2,211 were included into the study. Food allergies were found in 411 of them, while 1,016 had environmental allergies. It was concluded that the pesticide chemical could be ingested from eating different fruits and some juices. This study suggested that the use of pesticides and other chemicals are indeed associated with food allergies. Unfortunately, it also showed that the trend is increasing.

Some people think that the easiest solution to prevent food allergies is to switch to bottled water so that they aren’t being exposed to as much chlorine. However, this is not the best solution because bottled water does not include all ingredients on its labels. One alternative is to know what you are buying by reading the labels. Luckily, organic foods follow specific codes where organic pesticides must be used in order to be labeled “organic.” Laundry and cleaning products with chlorine should be avoided. It is a good idea in getting a shower filter and find out exactly what is in your tap water.  But the best solution is to invest in a whole house water filtration system that filters chlorine and chemicals out. You can save money while also saving water and your health. You and your family are worth the investment!

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Sources:
cdc.gov, foodallergy.org