Tag Archives: Rash

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

Health Advisory: Do not drink or splash in water from Willamette River

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 1.10.41 PMPhoto Credit to KGW

By Teresa Blackman, KGW.com Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. – A noticeable layer of scum in the Willamette River has health officials warning people to stay out of the water and by all means, do not drink it.

The scum extends from the southern end of Ross Island to the Fremont Bridge, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

“Water monitoring is underway to determine the species and amount of blue-green algae cells present in the river. The type of species in the bloom will help to identify whether the cells present are those with the potential to produce toxins harmful to humans and animals,” explained OHA spokesman Jonathan Modie.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has taken water samples from the river for testing. Results were expected to be available late Wednesday or Thursday morning.

Children & pets at increased risk

“People should avoid skin contact with water, as well as swallowing or inhaling water droplets, until results of tests are available,” Modie added. “Drinking water directly from the Willamette River could be especially dangerous.”

The toxins can not be removed by boiling, filtering or treating the water with camping-style filters but public drinking water systems can reduce algae toxins through proper filtration and disinfection. Health officials said anyone who draws in-home water directly from the Willamette River in the area should use an alternative water source until the advisory is lifted.

Toxins can cause serious illness, rash

Health experts said that exposure to toxins from blue-green algae can cause people to develop numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems, and require immediate medical attention. It can also cause diarrhea, nausea, cramps, fainting or trigger a rash.

Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity.

Fish & shellfish may be tainted

Fish, clams, mussels, or crayfish from the affected water could possibly make people sick, too. Health officials said people wanting to eat fish should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking it. As for crayfish, the muscle can be eaten, but internal organs and liquid fat should be discarded. It’s best just to avoid eating freshwater clams or mussels from the area.

The public will be advised when the concern no longer exists.

Help lines for more information:

In the meantime, anyone needing to discuss additional health concerns can contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0400.

Anyone wanting more information about algae sampling can contact the Department of Environmental Quality at 503-693-5723 or check the Harmful Algae Bloom website.