The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City looked more than 10,000 Americans in an ongoing health survey; when researchers tested their urine levels, they found levels of dichlorophenols. Not familiar with those? It's the same chemical found in pesticides and weed killers, and an agent used to chlorinate drinking water. Sounds appetizing, right? Of those with levels of dichlorophenols in their urine (about 2,000 participants), about one-quarter of them had a food or environmental allergy. That same chemical seems to weaken a person's tolerance for food, said the researchers.
But before you rush to the vending machine for a bottled water, consider this: your pesticide-ridden fruit and veggies are also to blame. And subbing in bottled water for tap water won't necessarily make a difference. "Other dichlorophenol sources, such as pesticide-treated fruits and vegetables, may play a greater role in causing food allergy," said allergist and researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow. As food allergies continue to bubble up in the U.S. population, it may be time to consider what these pesky pesticides are doing to the body.