No matter how many scientists explain that there is no real evidence suggesting that pesticides are harmful when used appropriately, they continue to be the subject of a number of health scares the most recent linking pesticides to food allergies.
Researchers led by Dr. Elina Jerschow of Albert Einstein Medical College used existing government data to see whether people with more dichlorophenols (a degradation product of triclosan, which is found in antibacterial soaps) in their urine were more likely to have food allergies.
The research published in the Journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that of 2,211 American adults with the chemical in their urine, 411 of them were found to have a food allergy, while 1,016 had other types of allergies.
Noting that previous studies have shown that both food allergies and environmental pollution are increasing in the United States, Dr. Jerschow concludes that our study suggests these two trends might be linked, and that increased use of pesticides and other chemicals is associated with a higher prevalence of food allergies.
This is a ridiculous study, exacerbated by an even more baseless conclusion, says ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross. The study only looked for statistical association researchers did not examine patients to see how this chemical might have caused their allergies. Why did the authors focus on this particular chemical to attempt to link to food allergies? Surely there are numerous, myriad even, other chemicals with which they might have found some statistical association-type of link. Not to mention that although some types of food allergies are increasing, such as peanut allergies, the generalization that food allergies are increasing is not completely justified; however, pollution in this country is definitely declining.