A recent study by Johns Hopkins researchers reveals a link between exposure to antibacterials and preservatives found in personal hygiene products such as soap and toothpaste, and a propensity to food and environmental allergies. Researchers reported that there was a link between the amount of exposure to the chemicals and a risk for allergies, as measured by levels circulating antibodies to certain allergens in a child’s urine. This does not necessarily mean that the chemicals in the products cause the allergies, but it suggests that they might impact the development of the immune system, researchers say.
This study is consistent with the “hygiene hypotheses,” which is a possible explanation for the increased rates of allergies in developed countries. The hypotheses suggests that early exposure to pathogens is necessary for normal immune system development, and when antibacterial products cause a child’s body to develop high levels of antibodies, these children have a higher risks of allergies.
To further investigate to possible relationship between antimicrobial agents and allergies, researchers are planning a more long-term study. Hopefully, this study will reveal more conclusive results.
A recent study reveals slight residues of drugs given to livestock can be found in milk powder and meat-based baby food. A new method recently developed by researchers in Spain is able to detect these tiny residues in a very precise manner. The drugs, antibiotics given to livestock to prevent illness, are remaining in the systems of the animals in very low quantities, but still enough to be detected later in food. According to Antonia Garrido, a professor of analytical chemistry, the concentrations are low and not worrisome, but the presence of the medication reveals the need to control the products to assure safe food.
According to a study published in the Food Chemistry journal, trace amounts of anti-worm fungicides have also been detected in milk-powder and baby food, especially poultry-based baby food. The European Commission regulates the levels of these substances in cereal foods for the young, but not with animal based foods, but that may soon change.
Source: M.M. Aguilera-Luiz, J.L. Martínez Vidal, R. Romero-González, A. Garrido Frenich. Multiclass method for fast determination of veterinary drug residues in baby food by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Food Chemistry, 2012; 132 (4): 2171