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Research – April 2018

Participate in an immunotherapy study to treat peanut allergy – the registration deadline has now been extended. Read the latest research on the link between maternal distress and allergy risk. Plus, check out this month’s mythbuster where we explore if pesticides and other chemicals can trigger allergies.


Call for participants: Immunotherapy study to treat peanut allergy

Registration date extended to April 30, 2018

A study to look at a new immunotherapy to treat peanut allergy is presently underway at Inflamax Research in Mississauga.

The research team is seeking youth aged 12-17 with a peanut allergy, with no history of anaphylaxis, to participate in this study. If your child is interested in participating, we encourage you to contact the research team directly to learn more about potential risks and benefits of this study, and to also speak with your child’s physician.

Find out more about this call for participants.


Research on maternal distress and its impact on allergy risk

New research from AllerGen provides insight on the link between a mom’s psychological wellbeing and the immune health of her newborn. AllerGen is a national research network dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with allergic and related immune diseases.

Read more.


Mythbuster series: check out this month’s edition

This month we explore if pesticides and other chemicals can trigger allergies. Read on to learn more.

Mythbuster: Is it true that pesticides or other chemicals sprayed on fruits and vegetables can trigger allergic reactions?

Generally speaking no. Although it is possible, in rare cases, to be allergic to certain pesticides, an allergic reaction to fruits or vegetables is generally triggered by an overreaction of the immune system to a protein found in a given food. Once the immune system is primed to recognize that food as a threat, if an individual eats it again, the body will release a number of chemicals. These chemicals, such as histamine, cause symptoms like swelling, itchiness, and sneezing, among others. The most severe reaction, anaphylaxis, can be life-threatening.

In addition, allergic reactions can also be caused by oral allergy syndrome (OAS), also known as pollen-food syndrome. OAS can involve itchiness and/or swelling of the mouth area, and is caused by proteins in fruits or vegetables that are structurally similar to those found in pollens to which the individual has seasonal allergies. Read more about OAS in this article by Allergic Living.

As such, it is very important to note that if you have a reaction to a specific food, you should seek the advice of an allergist to determine just what type of reaction you might be experiencing. This is true regardless of whether pesticides or chemicals were used in its growth or processing.

Mythbuster: Can you be allergic to chemicals (for example, the smell of chemicals in the nail salon, chlorinated swimming pools, etc.)?

Likely it’s not an allergy. There are various types of reactions people may have to chemicals. Generally speaking, sensitivity to the smell of chemicals is not an IgE-mediated allergy, though such allergic reactions have very rarely been reported in medical literature.

Help us educate your communities and share this mythbuster with them! Stay tuned for more mythbusters to come.

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Medical content reviewed by: Dr. Julia Upton, MD, FRCP(C) Clinical Immunology and Allergy