Peanut Allergy and low level exposure


My 6 year old son has a peanut allergy, He was diagnosed at 18 months after having a reaction to peanut butter (hives, swelling and discomfort). We were living in Los Angeles up until a year ago. We recently moved to Suffolk Virginia. My son at certain times of the year, (harvest, and planting), has a mild reaction to the peanut dust in the air. (coughing and weazing). I have asked that we move form the area to elimiate these symptoms. My sons allergest assures us there is no danger to my son. When my son exhibits symptoms we have been instructed to give him zyrtec and use an albuterol inhaler every four hours. I have sugested we move, but my wife feels the benefits of the area, job school and home out-weight my sons symptoms, and will not move till she hears otherwise. The allergist says there is no danger, and my son likes it here. These are my my questions: Can a peanut allergy get worse by semi annual exposure, and does anyone know of any maps that show locations of peanut farms and tobacco farms that use peanuts in crop rotation.

On Dec 7, 2004

Are you absolutely sure he's reacting to peanut crops? Have you had him tested for other environmental allergies? Lots of kids with PA also have env. allergies and sometimes it's hard to know what they are reacting to, so that's why I'm wondering how you're sure he's reacting to peanut crops.

If there are a lot of peanut crops around there and if it is peanut he's reacting to, I think you should consult more than one allergist. If it is a problem with your child, there must be other PA kids in the area who are also dealing with it, and the allergists around there are probably familiar with it. Before making a big decision such as moving, I'd want to get several opinions.

I would think recurring seasonal exposure to peanut protein would not be good for someone with PA. It seems to me it would have the potential for sensitizing him more. But it's not a judgment for me to make--I think you need advice from specialists.

On Dec 7, 2004

Welcome to the boards!!! just if your intrested- ive got a nut allergy site too!! [url=""][/url]

and also its forum


On Dec 7, 2004

I do not think that any immunologist will straight forwardly say that this exposure is going to cause a life threatening reaction, or that it will not. However , if your son is coping well with the drugs that he is taking during harvest of peanuts, than your wife's comfort zone is logical. I dont think there is any documentation ( that I have read any way, please others post links here!) that says that repeated exposure like this will result in a full blown anaphylaxis , without other factors playing a part. These other factors are the ones that are resonbly controlable , such as avoidance of peanut or trying new foods during such times. The reduction of exposure to any other environmental allergys that your child may have do all help when managing severe allergy.

Anaphylaxis often only occurs during a high risk period, drinking , stress and uncontrolled asthma all play there part in raising the risk of a severe reaction.

It may help to step back and simply note the times when he is mildly reacting , or if his asthma is becoming uncontrolable during the harvesting of peanuts. Take those notes to your allergy doc, and ask him for a clearer picture.

I am having similar problems with my son, who's dog allergy reaction this week lasted for three days after exposure. I have arranged to see my sons immunlolgist and ask him about the risk, as the allergy clinic nurses are concerned that his future reactions will be life threatening. This will mean, that my son will not be allowed in his grandmothers house, as she has a dog ( and one with eczema no less, just to make him give off a higher amount of dander!!) and visits to friends and others who own dogs. Life is hard enough with manageing his other many food allergies without the envrionmental ones becoming life threatening as well !!!

I wish you luck, sarah

On Dec 8, 2004

If your son`s symptoms are really due to peanut dust in the air and not a different environmental allergen, then our allergist would say that these exposures are decreasing his chance of ever outgrowing it. It is the reason that products made in a plant with peanuts but different lines often state that they are made in a plant with peanuts, because the peanut dust is in the air. By the way, I am in Los Angeles, and we have a great allergist. I am a little surprised that your wife is not more concerned about this---if are you sure these symptoms are due to peanut dust and not something else.