Monday, September 22, 2014

The WTF articles of the day

This was noticed awhile back but now is in the LATimes:

Dry roasting process might lead to more peanut allergies.

In a statement, he said that the researchers are looking for ways to “eliminate” the chemical changes that seem to make dry-roasted peanuts more likely to trigger allergic reactions.

my question: Is it the dry roasting causing chemicals that cause allergies, or the fact that this means more peanut particles float around and get breathed in when you eat them?

Regular peanuts are greasy, from oil so the grease would hold in the particulate matter but that's not true for dry roasted peanuts.

Breathing in particles means the lung will be exposed to peanuts, and may mount an immune response more vigorously than the stomach etc.

We see this with talc lined latex gloves, where a lot of the latex allergies are from direct skin contact or to small cuts in the skin from vigourous washing, but a lot are thought to be from the particulate matter of latex being breathed in with the floating talc particles.
FDA report on powdered gloves 

Conclusions(1) The major adverse impact of glove powder appears to be its contributing role in natural rubber latex allergies.
(2) Glove powder acts as an airborne carrier of natural latex proteins.
(3) Exposure to airborne natural rubber latex allergens can be most effectively reduced by considering both the level of natural latex proteins and the amount of glove powder on medical gloves.

and it's not just medical folks:

linThe prevalence and severity of latex allergy has increased dramatically in the last 15 years due to exposure to natural rubber products. Although historically this health risk has been elevated in hospital personnel and patients, a recent survey has indicated a significant potential risk for the general population. To obtain a wide-spread source for latex exposure, we have considered tire debris. We have searched for the presence of latex allergens in passenger car and truck tire tread, in debris deposited from the atmosphere near a freeway, and in airborne particulate matter samples representative of the entire year 1993 at two sites in the Los Angeles basin (California)..... A latex cross-reactive material was identified in mountain cedar. In conclusion, the latex allergens or latex cross-reactive material present in sedimented and airborne particulate material, derived from tire debris, and generated by heavy urban vehicle traffic could be important factors in producing latex allergy and asthma symptoms associated with air pollution particles.

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