This is exciting news for consumers who must play guinea pig with every new product and food they purchase to determine whether they will have an adverse reaction to the chemicals it contains. This testing method will allow researchers to determine the level of hypersensitivity/allergic response chemicals are likely to trigger (strong, weak, or none). This can make a significant improvement in the quality of life for consumers who have experienced adverse reactions to product and food chemicals ranging from headaches, insomnia, digestive problems, cognitive difficulties, weight gain, edema, bladder infections, skin reactions, breathing difficulties, and beyond. With more than 80,000 chemicals available for industry use and well over 10,000 currently in U.S. products and foods it is past time that we have a method for determining which chemicals have the highest likelihood for triggering adverse reactions in consumers prone to chemical sensitivity. As an added bonus, the testing does not involve the use of laboratory animals.
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a method which determines not only whether a chemical or substance is allergenic, but also how strong its potential for causing hypersensitivity is…
“We have to deal with the fact that industrial chemicals are present and necessary in our society, as are natural substances, some of which can also make us allergic. Testing their effects on health before using them in cosmetics, paint, cleaning products and others, allows us to replace them with safer substances and thereby avoid clinical symptoms.”
-Dr. Malin Lindstedt, professor of Immunotechnology at Lund University
There are gaps in our knowledge of how chemicals affect our health and environment. In recent years, the EU has therefore tightened legislation. The new rules will require companies to demonstrate that they have improved knowledge of up to 30 000 chemicals – without using animal testing. In addition to allergy testing these substances, the requirements include determining exactly how allergenic they are.
Malin Lindstedt and her colleagues expose human cells to various chemical substances. Using their own genetic analysis, called GARDpotency, they are able to determine how the cells of the body’s immune system react: a strong allergic reaction, weak, or none at all…
The test is already being used to a limited extent. However, it has not yet been validated by the OECD, which is necessary for chemical producers to roll it out fully.
Food additives are the next area that Malin Lindstedt wants to examine more closely. According to her, we know far too little about whether additives affect genetic regulation in our immune cells.