Food allergies like gluten sensitivity have been on the rise in the US in recent years, virtually everyone knows somebody who suffers from one or more sensitivities to food. Health experts have long speculated that chemicals in food and water supplies may be a factor in food sensitivity, now scientists have confirmed that one chemical in drinking water – chlorine – is causing increasing numbers of people to develop food allergies. Chlorine is widely used in the US to disinfect tap water, and is credited with significantly reducing the spread of harmful diseases through water. But the protection afforded by chlorine in drinking water comes at a price – that chlorine forms byproducts that are harmful to your health.
Dichlorophenol – The downside to chlorine in tap water
The study examined the urine of people with food allergies and found that people with high levels of a chemical byproduct of chlorine called dichlorophenol were 80% more likely to have a food allergy. Dichlorophenol is also used in pesticides, and contaminated produce may even be a larger source of dichlorophenol than chlorine in drinking water is. Researchers found that the higher the level of dichlorophenol they detected, the more likely that a person was to have food allergies.
How to Protect yourself from chlorine and its byproducts
Effective home water filtration can significantly reduce your exposure to chlorine. This can be as simple as filtering the water you drink, and using a shower filter to protect you in the bath. The best home filtration to use is whole home filtration, which prevents chlorine from even entering your house.
Rinsing produce Your fruits and vegetables are likely the highest source of dichlorophenol that you are exposed to daily. The best way to protect yourself is to rinse your foods with alkaline water. Pesticides like dichlorophenol leave an acidic residue on fruits and vegetables, alkaline water is the only rinse that you can be sure effectively neutralizes acidic residues.
Protip: Soak fruits and vegetables for a half hour in alkaline water to neutralize acidic residues
Water Ionizers offer effective protection against chlorine
A water ionizer offers multiple layers of protection against chlorine. Water ionizer filters are specifically designed for maximum chlorine reduction. Additionally, the ionization process used by a water ionizer safely shunts acidic residues like chlorine out of the machine’s waste discharge port. If you can’t install a whole home water filtration system in your home to protect you from chlorine, a water ionizer and a shower filter is your next best bet.
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Talk to your doctor about chlorine in drinking water and food allergies
Your doctor is the only person who can tell with any degree of certainty whether or not your food sensitivities may be caused by dichlorophenol. Talk to a knowledgeable doctor about your food sensitivities and ask for their recommendations as well. Always talk to your doctor when starting any new health regimen, including alkaline water
Want to know how much chlorine is in your drinking water? Call our water quality experts today at 877-959-7977 for a free evaluation of your local water quality.
Jerschow, E. and et. al. Dichlorophenol-containing pesticides and allergies: results from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006 Retrieved 10 Oct 2013 from Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. http://www.annallergy.org/article/S1081-1206%2812%2900671-0/abstract