Water purifier chemical 'increases food allergy risk'
Researchers have found that people exposed to high levels of dichlorophenols, produced when chlorine is added to water to ensure it is free of bugs, tend to be more prone to food allergies too.
Elina Jerschow, assistant professor of allergy and immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, said: “Our research shows that high levels of dichlorophenol-containing pesticides can possibly weaken food tolerance in some people, causing food allergy.
“This chemical is commonly found in pesticides used by farmers and consumer insect and weed control products, as well as tap water.”
Together with colleagues, she looked at the incidence of food allergies among 2,211 people who were participants in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Of those, the quarter with the highest level of dichlorophenols in their urine were looked at in detail.