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allergen risk

Family member has peanut/nut allergy. Can we put peanut shells in our garden compost?

By PeanutAllergy.com on Sun, 12-27-15, 08:09

Question of the Week: Answered!

Every week, PeanutAllergy.com answers one of the questions posted in our community.

Our Answer:

Thank you for your question. It is definitely important to take into account allergies that your family member have in order to keep them safe. In some cases, peanut dust can become airborne and affect people with allergies. Normally, doctors recommend that — for this reason — people with food allergies do not consume food processed somewhere that also uses nuts or other allergens. You can read more about different airborne reactions and allergy symptoms here and here.

A similar question was asked on the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology’s website and a moderator there stated that there would be minimal risk of a student experiencing a reaction to products in a waste composter. However, the moderator mentioned there has not been extensive research done on that topic. For that reason, it might be safer to err on the side of caution and not expose your family member to the allergen in any form. You can read more about the AAAI’s response here.

The safest option would be to not expose the family member to any form of the allergen. As someone who knows a family member with a food allergy, it might also be helpful to learn more about using an auto-injector in case of emergency. Even if you have learned the procedure in the past, it is always good to review the information. You can learn some tips for proper use review here.

We also reached out to our Facebook community with your question, and you can see their responses here.

We hope this information is helpful. Take care!

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